Because my home-made dish feeders are not very satisfactory in wet weather, these trials will, so far as possible, be conducted in dry weather. The dish feeders will be replaced in wet weather by standard tube feeders [image below] filled with commercial mixed grain to maintain the birds’ feeding habits at the trial location.

In each trial I will position the 4 dish feeders holding single seed types [‘singles’] as follows [see image below]:

  1. At the North West
  2. At the NE
  3. At the SE
  4. At the SW.

At approximately 1 hour intervals I will rotate the support clockwise to move each feeder one position to eliminate feeding  preference determined by location rather than food type.



22 Feb 2011

Trial 1 Each feeder starts with 4 oz of seed Remaining
1 MAIZE >3¾ oz
2 PEANUTS* 1½ oz
< = less than 

> = more than





* The peanuts are slightly crushed, not whole. The ‘mixed small seeds’ used in Trial 1 seemed to consist of red and yellow millet, rape and maybe others. Single small seed trials await supplies.






feeder locations

Following Trial 1 I have decided not to rotate the feeders on an hourly basis! To do so is potentially confusing both to birds and the experiment. So, in all cases, the feeders will be positioned as shown at left and tethered if need be to prevent rotation by the wind. I will do a few  separate trials at the end with preferred singles in different positions to eliminate the possibility that an apparent preference for a seed variety is not in fact a preference for a particular position. [See later notes after Trial 2]

Trial 1 was something of a teething run. The clearance gap at the bottom of the holding tubes proved inadequate to allow free flow of peanuts and sunflower seeds. I modified the feeders slightly to remedy the fault.




Written on January 17th, 2011 , Bird-seed Survey Tags:

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