Bird Table for Wapping Rose Garden?

parakeetA little bird told me (boooooo) about the parakeets nesting in Wapping Rose Garden, and wondered if the council might install a bird table for them. This is their reply:

Dear Councillor Dockerill

Enquiry regarding: ME – Parakeets Nesting in Wapping Rose Garden

In response to your query received on 5th December 2016, I have discussed the idea of installing a bird table in Wapping Rose Gardens with the Council’s Biodiversity Officer, John Archer.

He advises that hanging feeders of a squirrel-proof design would be preferable to a table-style feeding station. Food placed on a bird table would probably all be consumed by squirrels and pigeons. Food could easily fall off a table, and food on the ground will attract rats. If feeders are installed, seed and fat, aimed at a wide variety of birds, would be more appropriate than providing fruit targeted at the parakeets. The ring-necked parakeet is an introduced species which can compete with native birds for food and nest holes, so we should not really be specifically encouraging them, though they are still likely to visit the feeders for seeds. While I agree that a bird feeding station would be a nice addition to the park’s amenities, it would result in maintenance costs, including the regular cleaning of the ground around the feeders to prevent build-up of seed husks and bird droppings. However, if funding allows I am sure that we can install some bird boxes within Wapping Rose Gardens.

Should I be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me

Regards

Keith Woodard

Parks Infrastructure Officer.

I can vouch for the pigeon and squirrels problem – my mum got a bird table for Christmas and a big fat wood pigeon is its main customer, while the squirrels launch themselves from garden furniture to get around the squirrel guard. It’s a nice idea, but beware unintended consequences I guess! 

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