I want to stop the starlings and pigeons stealing all the food and will often go outside to scare these birds away when the small birds aren’t feeding, but still want to cater for the blackbirds and thrushes but don’t really know what to do as the starlings are slightly smaller than the blackbirds so a large mesh guardian doesn’t seem to be the answer. Remember, always put peanuts in a rigid mesh feeder, as large pieces of nut can choke baby birds. Some bully birds will even guard a feeder they perceive as theirs and will attack or chase away any other birds that try to feed. Required fields are marked *. Fresh fruit, as well as jelly, is popular, and will attract orioles and … Magies killing baby sparrows, taking blackbird eggs and chicks. Is that a Harry or a Hermione hedgehog you have snuffling around your garden? Use this as a guide to draw a line straight through the centre, edge to edge of your tray. Blackbirds are tricky as they’re bigger than many of the smaller birds we love to see in our gardens. Watching birds feeding in your garden is a great pleasure, but spotting a rat lunching on your lawn isn’t such a welcome sight. They send the young, light ones as the vanguard and they can perch and chew. Or you can place some plastic sheeting below your bird feeders and simply pick this up and tip any spilt seed into the bin each evening. But don’t take down your feeders in despair. So if you need to tidy away uneaten bird food in the evening either site your feeders over a hard surface, like concrete or paving slabs. The husks will end up on the floor, and unlike the birds, rats will eat them. Choose the right feeder. My problem is that the pigeons and starlings (and magpie when it appears) snaffle all the food on the ground (especially the suet pellets) and also try hanging from the other feeders! They will take the easiest food on offer. You can make your own for just a few pennies. Though the plants in your garden might not be putting on much of a show during the winter months, the bird table certainly is. I do have a normal feeder, but it’s pleasant to watch the smaller birds ground feeding. Ruler or something to draw a straight line with. Thread the string through the holes to make 2 loops that will fit over the perches on the bird feeder. This ends up on the floor as rat food. What Birds Can I See in The Garden In Winter? As further protection, place chicken wire or thorny branches around ground-level feeders. This is where you will be making your holes. He only caught a few rats, which he brought to me live, but sat on a couple by mistake. and blackbird sings Grackles and starlings will probably leave it alone. Bird food will get onto the ground either through spillage of because you have put it there. The first thing you … I don’t want another cat like her (sadly, run over). These birds like to be high up so it is most likely that they will be found on roofs, courtyards, beams, and ledges. In this article, we are going to show you how. A rat will push off a lid that isn’t secured. We had a lovely large male cat who sat in the garden and watch over the birds as they fed and never chased them When he was very ill in the summer, he lay in the garden and they came to see him (he died of coronavirus in September). I’ve chosen a sweet tub lid, but a picnic plate or the lid from a tub of fat balls would do just as well. There's no denying that if you feed birds in your garden, you run the risk of attracting rats. Provide fresh fruit for the birds. And if you feel desperate about the Blackbirds, never underestimate the influential power of a water gun. Some of the problem birds at Bird Feeders can include Grackles, Blackbirds, Crows, Mourning Doves, and Starlings. Has anyone any ideas as it’s costing me a fortune in suet pellets especially. Just like humans, rats are very smart and very lazy. They will live in close proximity to people for their food source, as well as take up residence within the buildings that house people. wild and free, And the lids need some sort of catch of fastening. Yes, hedgehogs do have fleas. Let’s look at spillage first. Despite the uneasy alliance, wherever there is man there are rats. Home made - half coconuts or a pine cone covered in fat or vegetable suet can be hung from a tree or bird table. But there are plenty of simple strategies you can put in place to keep the birds happy and keep the rats away. Turn the bird feeder upside down. Are there good shops and a lovely park nearby? Place the bird feeder in the centre of the tray. Suet Pellets. Consider investing in a pole-mounted feeding station like this one. But rats are part of our native wildlife. It looks like there are no bird foods that you can choose that would not also make a tasty meal for a rat. We haven’t tried this with rats, but we did try it when we had a squirrel problem. Choose a plastic tray that is wider than the outer edge of the perches on your bird feeder. I am not here to feed the feathered fatties who frighten off the robins and tits. The pole itself is pretty slippery, so it will be difficult for a rat to climb up. Do you have feedback or a question for us? When sunbeams warm There are several things you can do to stop food spilling from your feeders. I know what you mean.  It is nigh impossible to  to feed blackbirds but not starlings.  You can easily feed the smaller birds by putting the food in a wire mesh ground feeder. If you are feeding small seed such as Niger (loved by finches), make sure you choose a feeder with small holes or a seed ... Avoid Seeds with husks. So not sure about the mesh thing mentioned above, would need to see a diagram – anyone else have any thoughts – thanks. Blackbirds are unlikely to feed from hanging feeders, preferring the ground or sometimes bird tables instead. But the seeds nuts and grubs birds enjoy are ratty favourites. Although they certainly can climb rat is unlikely to waste her energy climbing up to your bird feeder if there is food on the ground. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. and joy and mirth. I do this by heating a Phillips screwdriver over a gas ring. And while these feeders are generally strong enough to support garden birds, there’s no way they will hold up a big fat rat. How do the neighbours look? One of the things I have done is get some chicken wire that comes in a roll. Choose high-quality bird food. I made a tunnel out of a piece of wire netting then as the blackbirds and other smaller birds got used to going in and out I bent the ends down from the top so pigeons are unable or unwilling to get in … I have been doing it for years . 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