Feeding the Birds
Feeding birds in gardens has become widespread and is valuable in conserving bird numbers, particularly in the winter months. It also gives pleasure to many householders to see birds feeding in their garden.
However, the numbers of rats and mice in built up areas is considered to be on the increase and that unsuitable bird feeding methods may be a significant factor in this rise. Most people would be horrified to think they were attracting rats and mice to their gardens. If you feed birds in your garden please follow these guidelines:
- Do not scatter food on the ground where it is a prime source for rodents.
- Bird tables are often easily accessible to rodents do not overstock them or provide large quantities or unsuitable foods.
- Use proprietary bird feeders with a catch tray to stop debris falling on the floor.
- Feeders should be sited with care and suspended from metal wire is the only way to be certain rodents will not access them.
- Ideally, you should place small quantities in feeders daily to ensure they are emptied daily.
- Do not use your garden as a dump for unwanted food waste, the birds may not want it either but rats and mice probably will.
- The RSPB recommend that fresh water and shelter are necessary in the winter to help birds.