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Miranda Hodgson

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More blackbirds have discovered the dog food

Posted by Miranda Hodgson on 30 May 2011 at 01:20 PM

More blackbirds have now realised that a little tray of dog food appears in the courtyard each day and have been taking full advantage of it. We have gone from only a couple of birds to two sets of parents and their chicks, who arrive early each morning to take breakfast. Dog food isn’t as good as worms, of course, but as the weather has been dry for so long, there aren’t many worms to be found in the soil surface, so this supplementary food should help. The chicks are certainly growing quickly and some of them are starting to eat by themselves, instead of sitting there squawking and waiting for their parents to feed them. I’m still putting apple out, mainly for the pleasure of seeing the birds eating it, which they do with obvious enthusiasm.


The other day, I watched a male blackbird feeding apple to a chick, who appeared to enjoy it very much and shouted for more after each beakful.





This male has been part of the courtyard ‘furniture’ for several weeks now and has become quite nonchalant about humans wandering around. He is often to be seen in the courtyard, having a bath, flinging soil over the path or digging in the raised beds and, if you walk past, he doesn’t fly off, but stays right where he is and carries on with the task at hand. The newer birds are not yet as casual and this was shown nicely a few days ago – as I opened the door, about six blackbirds flew up in a shrieking panic, leaving ‘my’ blackbird sitting alone, staring at me with a slightly startled look as if to say ‘What?! Oh, it’s only you’. I should give him a name. I like the name that Karl’s mum gave to a blackbird in her garden – she called him Fred Scuttle. That would suit him and sounds better than ‘the male blackbird’.



Fred Scuttle


Meanwhile, the seed and insect eaters, mainly bluetits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and greattits (Parus major), are busy with spiders, gnats and aphids and make their presence known by the sudden movement of branches and foliage as they forage amongst the shrubs. If not seen, then their constant high-pitched ‘tsee tsee’ call tells me they are near.


richardpeeej said:

They are really great pictures Miranda and such a good write up with them too. It seems as though Fred Scuttle is very tame now and quite soon would be taking food out of your hand..I enjoy reading your accounts very much..

on 30 May 2011 at 03:23 PM

More blackbirds have discovered the dog food | Gardening News said:

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on 30 May 2011 at 07:07 PM

Miranda Hodgson said:

It would be fascinating if Fred did get that tame, Richard!

on 03 Jun 2011 at 01:02 PM