Last summer my husband and I visited Scotland. We took a long walk in the pouring rain. (We ignored the rain) At some point we passed by a house with a bird feeding station on the drive. More than 25 birds flew back and forth and another 25 birds were scurrying on the ground underneath. I wanted to know more about that!
The owner of this bird feeding station arrived just at the moment we were watching the birds. Proudly he told us about the large numbers of birds in his garden. I asked him what he was feeding his birds. It turned out to be niger seed, from Africa.
Niger seed. That was new to me. But the next day I found a store where those seeds were for sale. So I bought myself a bag of 2 kg of those niger seeds and put it in the backpack of my husband who, without a murmur, carried it the whole day. Also I purchased a bird feeding station. As I tell the saleswoman that I will feed niger seed to the birds, she replies: "Niger seed? That's what the birds love best. If you do so, your birds will become so thick that they will not be able to fly anymore ". So as you all will understand, my expectations were sky-high.
Back home I place the bird feeding station in front of the kitchen window. I put the niger seed in the specially purchased holder. And wait.
I wait one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks ..... Nothing happens!
Then I buy some sunflower seeds and hang these in the bird feeding station. Immediately it gets busy. Great tits fly off and on. This bustle around the bird feeding station has drawn the attention of my neighbours’ cat too. Every day he sneaks under the yew and lurks ... I am witnessing an almost accident. Fortunately, the bird is quicker.
Sporadically, a great tit looks at the niger seed. I hear him think: "Niger seeds? Nèh ". And without tasting, it flies back to the sunflower seeds.
Beside the fact that a lot is happening around my bird feeding station, after three months of observation my conclusion is:
I probably will be stuck with two kilos of niger seed. Because for the conservative birds that visit my garden it is: unknown, unloved, unwanted!
My feeding station
Blue tit likes mixed seeds
Black bird, looks a bit tatty
Dunnock, Hedge sparrow
The cat of our neighbors
And another even more dangerous cat!