Home Forums Pets & Animals Attracting wildlife?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  jeffp 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #48676

    jeffp
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    In a word: buzzards.

    I often see them flying over and wondered if I placed some offal they might come for it? Sometimes I see kite too.

    Or will I just attract rats or the local farmer’s ire?

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    #48709

    wurzy2
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    We were fortunate some years in that we had a buzzards’ nest in the top of a huge old Ash tree in our field. Most summer afternoons we can sit in the garden and listen to a family – parents and maybe 3 young birds. The parents just turn and wheel on the thermals, getting higher and higher until they are hard to see. The youngsters are great acrobats but make a noise constantly, a long high-pitched “peeeeeeee” note which apparently is them calling seeking reassurance that the parents are nearby. I often used to worry about baby ducklings and small animals – even our chickens and cats – when they were overhead. I would imagine that they would be interested in carrion, especially in cold weather, but I’d worry about putting out meat. It needs to smell strongly to attract them and whilst waiting for the odd buzzard, you’d probably be visited by any number of rats, foxes, etc., and maybe even one of the neighbours making enquiries about the pong ?!  ;-)

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    #48712

    farmerchris
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    Our experience,

    We have been feeding two or more pairs of buzzards for the last 10 years . I even “adopted ” a young buzzard that must have come from the nest across from our house, she got used to flying to my arm but I think was shot  while I was away working . We have a “food table” across the valley from our house and put hearts and any mice that we catch on it , the buzzards turn up quite quickly and eat whatever we provide. We have no rats , just a lot of mice , but they are  eaten by various species of owl that inhabit our property. Foxes , we have a lot of , as well as pine martins , wild boar etc, they are not attracted to anything we put out for the buzzards because they cannot get to it .

    Jeff, you will find that farmers don’t worry much about buzzards , it used to be the hunters that shot them but since they have been protected not only is the buzzard population on the rise but the snake population is on the decline.

     

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    #48735

    jeffp
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    Thanks for the comments. I might give it a go.
    I’ve never seen a fox anywhere in France, despite having visited every year during the summer, often driving off motorways during the night, and despite having had our present property out in the countryside 16 years this July. The neighbours swear blind they are about, and I was under strict instructions to close up their chickesn in case the fox came, when they went away and left me in charge of les poules.

    I have seen evidence of sanglier, and ONE live one south of us in the woods, a couple of very dark squirrels and no badgers, dead or alive. Deer abound.

    Wild animals seem much less tame than in the UK, even my garden birds flee when I appear at a window, whereas in the UK, even if I go outside, they just go into a tree and watch me.

    I did also buy some seed for the wild birds here and filled a feeder, but all that happened was that the house filled up with flour weevils……..the wife was NOT amused…….. The seed got chucked.

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    #48747

    farmerchris
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    We have plenty of sangliers , they have dug up a lot of our ” wild meadows” this year , it’s probably because we stop hunters using our land , but I think ” live and let live ”

    Foxes abound here , when the muck is spread on the fields next door or when hay has been made , we see them in the day. There is a lot of fox poo everywhere , even in our back garden as well as pine martin droppings .I have never seen badgers but see their poo-holes . I think that they have different habits in France due to the hunting and do not make fixed ” sets”  due to the habit of the hunters to dig them out and kill them .

    We feed the birds around the house and also in the woods , we are a bird sanctuary.

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    #48751

    wurzy2
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    Not seen a fox yet in France, @jeffp? Just get yourself some chickens, geese or ducks – or worse, leave your neighbours’ henhouse door open and a sly one  will appear as if by magic and the moment you look the other way! Your “missing” fox is rather like our missing badger. Year after year in our garden I have picked up their poo and cleaned up dogs which have found poo I have missed! We’ve seen  endless badgers on the roadsides, both dead and alive, but never actually found one in our garden where they like to congregate at night and eat cherries until they’re bursting. Weird that. Deer can be found from time to time, eating my roses. Baby sangliers bouncing around in our wood, a huge dead sanglier in our river which had to be removed on Christmas morning as it was wedged on a rock and causing a blockage, endless ragondins chasing the ducks and bullying them over food but we’ve never ever seen a squirrel, red or grey, anywhere in France to date!! You say that birds and wild animals seem less tame here than in England. Think that might be due to the extra space here and the fact that they are not used to living in such close proximity to people as they might do in the UK. Better that way, I think, since encouraging wild animals to respond to us and lose their wildness can often lead them into danger. So many animals are shot or injured in France, it’s probably safer if they maintain a healthy respect for man and the danger that trust can create. Flour weevils?!?!?! I’m with your Wife on that one – maybe it’s true that no good deed goes unpunished !  :whistle:

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    #48755

    dordidub
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    Yes, Lucky here too to Have wild boar, deer, foxes, badgers.
    The Fox “sightings” are rare, but I do like to leave out occasional carcasses / bones for them in the evening. I know the “President of the local hunt”, who asks me to text him when I spot the boar, but I never do…

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    #48758

    wurzy2
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    Hello, @dordidub. Nice to hear someone else not interested in cooperating with the local hunt!
    I smiled at the “leaving out the carcasses” comment – my elderly Mum and her neighbours used to do that in the grounds of the sheltered accommodation they lived in, in the UK. It gave them so much pleasure to watch through the windows and see a fox and her cubs arrive each evening to eat and play in their lovely gardens. But they eventually got into trouble with the Management and their fun came to an end. Despite the ducks and geese that I have lost to foxes in the past, I still feel sad when I think that their staple source of food is earthworms…so, little wonder they have to become very creative to bag a decent meal!  :scratch:

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    #48782

    farmerchris
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    Most of our land has been  declared ” non chasse” for twenty years , so there are more that don’t cooperate with the hunters.

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    #48785

    jeffp
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    Sadly that doesn’t always mean they won’t go on your land. last year I reported to him a group on the land of M.Viaud, but his response was the gallic shrug and “what can you do?”

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    #48793

    farmerchris
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    Not wanting to appear ” know -all”  . The hunters of the ACCA stay off my land because if they don’t I report them to the Prefecture. Not knowing Mr Viaud , I do know who has declared their land as Non Chasse in Saint Mathieu. I don’t think he has ?

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    #48799

    jeffp
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    Not sure Chris: his land was all signed as chasseflore/faune guardee?

    Anyway, he’s sold up now to a young fellow from Les Champs called Luc, whose uncle is Serge Lathiere, the general mechanic in St Mat on the road to Piegut.

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    #48823

    farmerchris
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    A Chasse gardée is still used for hunting but at the invitation of the owner , has to be more than 60 hectare in one piece.

    A Non chasse is an area declared via the prefecture as not included in the ACCA and is not allowed to be hunted by anyone .All owners of land in France can declare their land ( whatever size) as Non Chasse. In the Limousin it is declared every 4 years, and can only be changed again in that year .

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    #50696

    farmerchris
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    We saw our first grass snake of the season yesterday , quite a large one beautifully marked curled up under one of my old hard-hats.

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    #50700

    jeffp
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    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek

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