I have been feeding the birds in my garden for a couple of years or so now. The little sparrows feed of the feeder & love the seed. There can be 10 sparrows flying around it sometimes. The last few months I have also started feeding a couple of pigeons as one is lovely looking (white with black speckles)...I do love all pigeons but I am guilty of feeding this one because of his looks. Unfortunately it went from feeding 2 pigeons to about 15 or more. I'm sure they must have bird meetings to tell eachother where the food is. Although I am an adult I am living with my parents & they are going mad at the amount of pigeons as they say they will cause rats. They were fine when it was just two or three pigeons. To be fair I can understand this as it's a small garden and terraced housing so I can quite see the neighbours eventually complaining. I'm not intentionally encouraging pigeons and I only put a small handful of seed down when I see 'my' pigeon but then the others swoop down. They also sit under the feeder waiting for the smaller birds to drop seed. I also think they might be roosting in the neighbours solar panels so maybe it's not my fault? Now my parents have removed the bird feeder & insisted on me to stop feeding the birds. I have also spotted a brown rat in the garden (I don't think they have spotted it yet). I'm in a dilemma as I feel so guilty not feeding any of the birds and I hate the bad press that pigeons get. At the same time now that I have spotted the rat am I doing right thing by completely removing all food sources?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
When we put our feeders back up, after a couple of years break due to me being incapacitated after major leg reconstruction, the wood pigeons returned with vigour, and almost took over the garden.
Nature has a way of balancing itself out, so we went with the flow for a while, and now we only have about six wood pigeons tops.
However, as Catlady says keeping the feeding area clean is important, not just to keep rats and other animals at bay, but for general cleanliness and keeping infection to birds a low risk.
To make things more interesting, the WP's have learnt how to get on the feeders and feed from them!
And the male blackbirds!
Flickr Peak Rambler
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654