Why this nutty behaviour?
Q Why do our Goldfinches and Blue/great Tits throw their seed and nuts over their shoulders on to the ground while eating, the tits prior to taking a nut. Could it be a ploy to stop others from muscling in? Chris Garner, Chester
A That’s a difficult one to answer. If it’s mixed seed that’s being used, it’s possible that the Goldfinches are effectively sorting out the seeds that they like (such as black niger seed) from those more difficult to eat. That, however, wouldn’t explain why the tits do the same with the nuts. So, it might also be that some of the food has been sitting around and is going bad, and that the birds are getting rid of the inedible nuts in the search for better ones.