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Bird Feeder cam
This week, we’ve been running live cameras on a bird feeder to find out what the local birds most like to fill up on.
We put out an even percentage of sunflower seeds, oat grain and barley grain to appeal to the local farmland birds. We then sat back, eagerly anticipating yellowhammers, tree sparrows and various finches.
Clockwise from top: An even mix of sunflower seeds, oat grain and barley grain
We soon found, however, that greenfinches totally dominated the feeder table and gobbled down the sunflower seeds. They didn’t touch the other two options.
So we changed it up a bit.
On the live cameras we’d been seeing lots of greenfinches, goldfinches, house sparrows and common garden species such as blue tits, great tits, coal tits and robins. So we decided to put more common garden bird food to the test.
We served up sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts (which is what you get when you crack open a seed) and peanuts.
Clockwise from top: sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, peanuts
We found that greenfinches mainly stuck to eating sunflower seeds even though they were being offered the sunflower hearts which are easier to eat and digest. We think this could be because you don’t find sunflower hearts in the wild so they probably weren’t used to them.
Goldfinches, on the other hand, only ate sunflower hearts. This must be a learned behaviour. They know to go straight for the hearts to get the most energy efficient nutrition fix.
So what did the birds like most overall?
Sunflower seeds were the most popular with 43% being eaten. Then it was sunflower hearts at 38%, and peanuts at 19%.
An edible pie chart providing nutritional and mathematical information