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! It is nigh impossible to to feed blackbirds but not starlings. Choose the right feeder. Ground and table feeding - birds such as blackbirds, collared doves, thrushes, dunnocks and robins will not use feeders, preferring to feed off the ground or a bird table. Unfortunately, the rats in my garden can climb pole feeders – vaseline on the pole didn’t help. One of the most important impacts of feeding birds is that it allows people to feel connected to the natural world. I too hang bird seed balls from a container and the sparrows and the two blue tits that come rarely, its all sparrows, can hang off it, however, I have noticed a blackbird and robin but they can’t hang and I would like to fee them but have 2 magpies living close by, pigeons and seagulls and do not want to encourage these larger birds on my balcony due to the mess plus after living in London 20 years I hate pigeons! Although backyard birds are not reliant on scent as a way to find food, do it for insurance. People who don't start feeding birds until severe weather arrives may be missing out. When sunbeams warm I do have a normal feeder, but it’s pleasant to watch the smaller birds ground feeding. It forms a barrier which stops rats and squirrels climbing up. We are looking at the house for sure, but we are also looking at the area. It’s easy to spill bird food when you are filling your feeders. Well, the birds’ nesting checklist might be different, but you still need to tick all their boxes if you want them to nest in your garden. And if you feel desperate about the Blackbirds, never underestimate the influential power of a water gun. Suet Pellets. When gold adorns To stop this becoming a problem unhook the feeder, take it to your food bin and fill it there. We’d love to hear from you, leave us a comment below. If you are feeding small seed such as Niger (loved by finches), make sure you choose a feeder with small holes or a. Let’s take a look at the truth about hedgehog fleas. If you are looking for starling proof bird feeders then you will find a … 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. bright shrub and tree, A main cause of seed appearing on the ground around a bird feeder is the feeder allowing seed to fall out. So one easy way to avoid rats getting at your birdseed is to feed the birds in the morning. Bird food does have the potential to attract rats. Make marks on your lines at the edges of the feeder. Are there good shops and a lovely park nearby? But human-induced environmental changes have transformed the foraging options for birds globally. He only caught a few rats, which he brought to me live, but sat on a couple by mistake. Place the tray on it and fit the string over the perches. A baffle is a domed or tubular device that goes around the pole of a feeding station, below the feeders. This melts the plastic to make good clean holes with no effort. Despite the uneasy alliance, wherever there is man there are rats. So it’s not the feeders themselves which attract the rats in the first place. Perhaps top of the list of wired and wonderful hedgehog behaviour is the practice of self anointing. Fill your feeders at the food bin. This ends up on the floor as rat food. The pole itself is pretty slippery, so it will be difficult for a rat to climb up. In this article, we’re going to show you how. But for extra security, you could add a baffle like this one. So wrap up warm, grab a hot chocolate, or even a mulled wine, and let’s take a look at who’s at the bird table in winter. Birds like to feed in the day, and rats generally prefer to feed at night. Magies killing baby sparrows, taking blackbird eggs and chicks. wild and free, Of beauty, hope Am at a loss. Read on to find out. Feeding chocolate to the birds in your garden could cause them to suffer from diarrhoea, seizures and may even cause death in some circumstances. This is where you will be making your holes. Choosing upside down suet feeders or feeder designs with exterior cages will minimize the suet these larger birds can access without preventing smaller birds from feeding. As further protection, place chicken wire or thorny branches around ground-level feeders. Although you could spend some money on a good camera, with a bit of planning and know-how, you can get great shots with a simple “point and shoot” camera or your smartphone. I am trying to find a way to feed the squirrels as I have squirrel proof bird feeders but still want to feed squirrels without pigeons eating everything. Thank you, HERE IS MY REPLY BUT I WOULD LOVE IT IF ANYONE HAS ANY OTHER IDEAS. If this is happening, you are probably going to have to abandon tree hanging bird feeders and look at other options. Choose a high-quality bird food to minimise waste. These members of the thrush family are one of our most familiar birds and their melodic song is a defining feature of the dawn chorus. Alchemy - There's no denying that if you feed birds in your garden, you run the risk of attracting rats. Taking photographs of the birds in your garden can actually be a great place to start with wildlife photography. Rats fear avian predators, they will often take sheltered routes to source food, under vehicles, sides of buildings or any object that affords them shelter. HERE IS A QUESTION FROM A READER.  PLEASE READ  AND SEE IF YOU CAN HELP HER.  SHE IS TAKING SO MUCH TIME TO FEED OUR SMALLER GARDEN BIRDS, BUT NEEDS SOME HELP AND ADVICE.   IF YOU CAN GIVE HERE ANY ADVICE YOU MAY BE SAVING A BIRD’S LIFE.  WOULDN’T THAT BE THE BEST THING YOU HAVE DONE TODAY. There are specific types of feeder for certain types of seed. spreading far It’ll probably work out no more expensive in the end anyway. Fall is the season to begin, even though natural foods are plentiful and the birds like the tufted titmouse above may not spend much time at your feeder yet. How do the neighbours look? Here is a link to an article about another way to keep larger birds off bird food.  You may not be able to do this – and it does look strange.  It means you have to put garden canes round a bird table. The first thing you … What Birds Can I See in The Garden In Winter? But the seeds nuts and grubs birds enjoy are ratty favourites. 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. Feeding the birds in your garden doesn’t always have to result in feeding the rats too. This way any spillage falls straight back into the bin and won’t become a problem. I have lots of pigeons feeding on my table, but no small birds, the pigeons scare them off, I want to feed the birds but not attract a gang of pigeons and I have even had a pair of magpies who I think have been looking for water. Avoid Seeds with husks. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Windows present a slippery surface which is very difficult for rats to climb up. and joy and mirth. and blackbird sings On a daily basis at Wild Birds Unlimited in Grosse Pointe Woods, we hear about the abilities of squirrels to successfully turn bird feeders into squirrel feeders. But don’t take down your feeders in despair. Where you have a problem with Pigeons as long as there is food on the ground then they will keep coming back. If you put food out in the morning and put out just enough for your garden population chances are there will be nothing left by the evening to attract your local rats. Seeds like sunflower have hard husks which garden birds will discard, before eating the heart of the seed. I also find that blackbirds feed earlier than pigeons, so if you put out food just before it gets light the blackbirds should get a look in. Yes, hedgehogs do have fleas. Use this as a guide to draw a line straight through the centre, edge to edge of your tray. Rats will eat almost anything. 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. There is a myth that if you mix chilli powder or flakes with your birdseed, the birds will still eat it, but rats and squirrels will be put off. You can make your own for just a few pennies. With our year-round residents joined by flocks of cold weather migrants, there is plenty to see. This video shows you how. They are out in the fields and woods, feasting on seeds and berries and well-fed insects. I tried water buckets all round the bottom of the pole, but they can jump (and swim anyway). 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