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Unfortunately I don't have many choices, and all of them are too close to the house, the shed (sorry workshop), the foxes or the local cats! So the answer is almost certainly no. Also we removed the lawn (ie scrubby mud and grass) and so there are far fewer insects, though we may be able to do something about that with careful shrub-planting. That is UK, in France we have birds galore, including a robin who has read the script!

Oh - I forgot the squirrels...

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[quote user="chris pp"]

But have you put them (nest boxes) in the right place?


Good point.  As I understand it, nest boxes (assuming we're just talking about typical tit-type boxes) need to be out of direct sun and leeward to the prevailing wind.  And not near feeding stations as these disturb nesting birds.

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Easy to make peanut and fatball bird feeder

Sizes are approximate and dimensions can be changed according to what wood you have handy - I had a couple of oak planks of section 2cm x 14cm and 2cm x 18cm, hence the sizes I quote here.

Materials: for each feeder you need


1 piece 25cm x 9cm (A) to form the back

1 piece 12.5cm x 9cm (B) to form the base

1 piece 10cm x 14cm (C) to form the top

1 short length dowel to form a perch (D)

2 pieces of wood 13mm x 13mm section or similar, length 25cm (E)



6mm galvanised wire mesh 25cm x 16.5cm

Wood Glue

30mm panel pins or nail gun tacks

50mm round nail

2.5 section insulated electricians wire to form the hanger


To Make

Cut wood and wire mesh to size.  An old pair of bypass secateurs will cut the mesh easily.


Round off short edges on one long and two short sides of one face of piece (B)

Round off all edges of one face of piece (C) then round off corners.

Insert 50mm round nail near top right corner of the back piece (A) - if using hardwood like oak, pre-drill hole.

10cm below and 5cm left of the nail, drill hole and glue perch (D) into place.


Staple wire mesh to each long edge of the back to form a hopper on the opposite side from the nail and perch.


To cover ends of mesh and secure it properly, nail trim pieces (D) to long edges of the back piece (A) using panel pins.

Drill a pilot hole 1cm from the edge and in the centre of the plain edge of the base piece (B) and screw it to the back piece (A).


Drill two holes 1cm from the edge and in the centre of each long edge of the base piece (B); insert the wire hanger.  Twist up the ends of the wire and hook them through the mesh from inside the hopper.  Twist up the ends of the wire further to secure.

[IMG]http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i26/cassiscassis/feeder/birdfeeder010.jpg[/IMG]  [IMG]http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i26/cassiscassis/feeder/birdfeeder011.jpg[/IMG]

The nail on the back of the feeder can be used to hang a fat ball, bacon rind etc.  The birds tend to use the perch rather than hanging on the net of the fatball so it should be safe.  Or you can snip the head off the nail and insert it into the fatball.


You can always make a few more for friends and neighbours.


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No, my balls are very solid and do not disintegrate, even in heavy rain or frost.  They tend to drop off after they have had a good nibble from the birds, though.  But by then they have almost gone anyway.  Then I put the remains on the bird table.  Even better, you could put a ground feeding station underneath the hanging feeder to catch the bits of nuts and balls.

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