Birds and bread. A mystery.

Ever since we have lived here, and enjoyed the novelty of having a garden after the central London flat, we have fed the birds. As well as using a small bird table, we have a purpose built feeder, and put out mealworms, seeds, and mixed bird food too.

I also have a habit of cutting old bread into small chunks, and spreading it on the grass. This allows the larger birds to get at it, and also provides the opportunity for smaller ground feeders to peck off crumbs. Over the years, the arrival of that bread has heralded a rapid descent by starlings, blackbirds, and wood pigeons. Usually within a very short space of time, it has all gone.

I could easily do this every day, and watch as the various birds fluttered down to clear the bread, often as I was still standing there throwing it around. The largest wood pigeons can consume a huge amount, and the smaller pieces they leave behind are welcomed by the thrushes and starlings. Most days, we would also get to see the presence of a colourful Jay. That bird waited until all the others had left, and came to clear up the remains.

But over the last two weeks, the bread has been left uneaten on the grass. I have stopped putting more out, as on a couple of days none was taken, and no birds spotted. As Ollie tends to chase off the local cats, I am fairly sure that the birds are not being scared. Perhaps it is the season for berries, and they are getting their fill elsewhere, I don’t really know.

Whatever the reason behind it, I hope that they return to the garden soon.

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34 thoughts on “Birds and bread. A mystery.

  1. We have two lovey-dovey pigeons who have basically taken up residence at our house. They’ve been here ever since the mourning doves left (well over a month now). They perch on the wall or lay on the ground. They eat bread like winged piranhas. I think they’re getting fat…. I keep fresh water in a large saucer, and they drink and bathe in it. We also have other birds that stop by, including hummingbirds and mockingbirds. I hope your birds return. Their absence may very well be due to available foods elsewhere, like berries.

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  2. I don’t think sparrows, robins, blackbirds, blunts or pigeons go away in cold weather as we have them all year round here, and are generally a couple of degrees cooler than where you are. I am still putting birdseed out on The Happy Eater tree and getting visitors. There are a lot of berries around though this time of year so I don’t have to top up the seeder too often.

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  3. Hmmm.. maybe check in with your supplier of bird seed as they may know more about the feeding habits of the birds in your area? But I suspect it’s a seasonal thing. We have resident varieties here year round but also the visitors .. I used to feed them more faithfully but now I mostly keep water in the bird baths which draws them in… Hopefully all of your favorites will return when the weather suits them again. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Susanne. They didn’t desert me last year. It seems that even the Robins have gone. A neighbour thinks it might be that Sparrowhawks or other predatory birds have moved this way, but I haven’t seen any.
      Regards, Pete.

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  4. But. Pete. I believe they went to warmer weather.. as soon as it warms back up. They will be back.

    I can understand your disappointment though. And can understand how much you miss their company

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      1. Yep.. I live in Florida.. and this time of year.. I see all kinds.. even some beautiful parrots.. my lawn is always full.. and the trees 🌲.. it’s such a beautiful sight to behold

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        1. We only ever see one Jay at a time, so can’t tell if they are bullying anything.
          The colour combination is lovely to see though, and they are large birds too, as big as crows.
          Regards, Pete.

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        1. Hahahaha.. Oooooh my.. I have changed his name..
          I know he was just being cheeky/funny..
          and I did get a smile from his comment..
          it’s always good 😊 to have a good sense of humor..

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