11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 17

Battle for the Buds A duel of several years' duration

against blue and great tits has at last been triumphantly won without bloodshed and amid general rejoicings. Every year, beginning in January, the tits devoured wholesale the buds of certain early flowering trees and shrubs, especially an almond. Every sort of spray has been used, in vain. At last the gardener, who has the gardener's gift for philosophy. said : " We have been givin' 'em what they don't like and it was no good, let's try 'cm with what they do like." This homoeopathic suggestion was at once put into practice. In the almond were suspended several half coconuts ; and though perhaps the number of tits has increased the flower buds have not been so much as nibbled. The result suggests that spring hunger is the chief object of the bud-eating birds ; but, of course, where sparrows and various finches, as often happens, are the enemies (and the victims, perhaps, the gooseberries and the Forsythia) other foods would have to be provided contiguously.