Gardeners' World Web User
21/11/2008 at 21:13
Reply to Clive Rusby. Unfortunately rats are extremely common and able to exploit any food they can find, human or bird. I've always thought that casually discarding huge amounts of broken bread, seeds, or nuts on the ground is the best way to encourage rats, and does little for any other wildlife. The biologist in me thinks that if there is food enough for rats to scavenge off the ground, there is probably already food enough out there for birds — berries, seeds and insects. It is when snow covers the ground that birds are less able to forage so only then d we need to put out anything for our fine feathered friends. If you want to attract birds to a feeder to enjoy their antics and watch them close up I suggest a very minimal amount of seed/fat mix in a tiny plastic flowerpot or other container and hang it close to the kitchen window. Refill it regularly with small amounts. Spillage will be kept to a minimum to is less likely to attract rats, but the birds will learn to examine it regularly. Worth a try? Good luck.