The Golden Blue Tit Awards

Sunday, 14th March 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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Steel Peanut Feeder

Marketed as 'Fort Knuts' by Supa of Sheffield this stainless steel peanut feeder lives up to it's name, coping with the attentions of our local grey squirrel. It could nibble the nuts one by one through the mesh but the feeder remained intact.

Mesh base

Unlike some other peanut feeders, this has a mesh base, allowing water to drain through. This helps prevent the nuts turning into a mouldy lump in the base. Blue tits have spotted this and they hang upside down to feed underneath.

Used by: blue tit, coal tit, great tit, greenfinch, long-tailed tit, house sparrow, robin, starling, blackbird (which leaned across from a perch on a neighbouring feeder to gain access).


Plastic Peanut Feeder

Prior to the attacks of the squirrel we used two of these sturdy plastic and wire wesh peanut feeders. When the squirrel succeeded in nibbling away the plastic base, wrecking it, we moved the remaining feeder to the (so far) squirrel-free front garden.

Plastic base

As the plastic base has no drainage holes peanuts stuck down there, out of reach of the birds, tend to form a mouldy lump.

Used by: blue tit, coal tit, great tit, greenfinch, long-tailed tit, house sparrow, robin, starling.

Recycled Bottle Feeder

Many thanks to my friend Jeanne in Minnesota for sending us three of these 3 in 1 feeders to try. A harness and a bowl turn almost any 2 litre plastic bottle into a feeder or bird bath. I've attached it where I hope it will be out of reach of squirrels.


The feeder bowl is made from 100% recylced plastic bottles.
The bowl, bottle and the cardboard box it came in can be recylced again and again.

Used by: blue tit and great tit after it had been hanging there for one hour. Siskin, robin and greenfinch have also visited it.

Blue tits may have taken the odd sip but we haven't noticed any bathers as yet.

These feeders are now available in the U.K.


Plastic Seed Feeder

plastic/metal seed feeder

seed feederThis shiny chrome-style feeder may have looked tempting in the shop but it failed to attract any regular birds. Blue tits and sparrows attempted to feed from it. The arrangement of perches seemed to make things difficult for them.

While not popular with the birds (possibly because of competion from the ground feeder, see below), the squirrel soon found it and had no trouble in popping the plastic fitting out from the clear plastic barrel. Bird seed cascaded to the ground.

We repaired and refilled it but when it hit a post as it blew in the wind the fitting popped out again.

Verdict: too flimsy.

Fat-block Cage

fat cage

fat cageThis cage seems squirrel-proof but the squirrel doesn't take that much interest in the fat block, so who knows!

The birds like it, especially the starling, robin, blue tit and great tit.

Fat Ball

fat ball

Blue titFat balls are a cheaper alternative to the fat-block cage and, as you can see from this photograph, they get nibbled away - by blue tits, robins and starlings. We've even seen a blackbird perching on an adjacent branch to feed.

Definitely not squirrel-proof!

our squirrel tester

ground feederground feederGround Feeder

This ground feeder has proved popular with a variety of birds including some, such as the pheasant, dunnock and wood pigeon, which never visit the bird table.

Unfortunately the squirrel tended to hog it, soon clearing it of seed then, one weekend when we'd run out of seed, we woke to find it biting through the cross bars, one by one to get at the remaining seed inside.

Highly recommended for ground-feeding birds but totally wrecked by our squirrel tester. Next Page

Richard Bell,

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