Paul F Whitehead

At 08.05 hrs on July 18th 2002 my wife commented that a Wren was pecking tiny fragments of peanut from a cage feeder suspended about 1.5 metres from the ground in the garden at Little Comberton. As I had no previous knowledge of such an observation, the circumstances appear to be worth recording.

We have three suspended not feeders which are used by birds throughout the year; they can consume up to a kilogram of nuts a fortnight from them. The maximum distance between the feeders is eight metres.


The Wren observed on July 18th first fed at a feeder fleetingly, after which it was almost immediately pursued by a House Sparrow. The effect of this was somewhat comical, the Wren flying directly in level flight from feeder to feeder, with the sparrow in continual pursuit.  The Wren landed on each of the three feeders, but apart from the first occasion, was always prevented by the House Sparrow from consuming further nut particles.

It will be interesting to see whether this is a perhaps unlikely prelude to local behavioural change in Wrens.  Until 2002 I had never, over an observation span of 41 years, seen Hedge Sparrows feeding on (but very frequently below) bird tables. Here this is now of almost regular occurrence, especially, it seems, during late spring.

P.F. Whitehead, Moor Leys, Little Comberton, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 3EH 21.7.2002


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