It’s all about the pecking order


Last month whilst staying with my father I hid behind the Venetian blinds and poked my camera lens through to see what was occurring at the bird feeders. There were several phases of activity when several birds arrived at the same time.


This very beautiful long-tailed tit, timid and nervous, only really managed to tuck in once the other birds had flown away.


Then a noisy chattering of starlings (well six or seven) turned up to muscle their way in.


After initially flying away the long-tailed tit eventually plucked up enough courage to fly back and hang onto the feeder and wait for his turn again. He obviously knew his place in the pecking order.


Not all the birds were interested in the fat ball. The greenfinches were happy to peck away at the sunflower seeds. Much to my amusement I did see the starlings make an attempt at landing on the perches, but they were too big, and, after unsuccessfully flapping around and wasting energy, they gave up and returned to the fat ball.


Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

5 thoughts on “It’s all about the pecking order”

  1. Is that an anti-squirrel cage? Here we love the squirrels too and they hang off the bird nuts upside-down like bats. Last year we had a revival of our sparrows whereas this year (sparrows still going) we’ve had a revival of starlings. They’ve been missing for years and we now have double figures of youngsters. We have fat slabs and the record is them getting though one in 24 hours. I bought a different one the other day made with berry juice, and it’s purple, smells lovely, and they all hate it.

    1. Not surprised the starlings aren’t impressed with berry juice flavour 😄 They were probably confused – that old fat/berry/fat quandary. Is there a general improvement in starling numbers then?
      Yes, that is an anti-squirrel cage, but for some unknown reason only two or three squirrels have visited in the last year despite the garden backing onto a small wooded area of the local park. Squirrels used to be regulars as the other feeders were open access!

      1. Here we were down to no starlings. Occasionally a couple would pass through. So to have so many all of a sudden is a good thing. We’ve got a sparrow box up too, but it’s unused this year. A lot of local gardens have bushy trees which have recently gown up to be useful.

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