Feeding birds

I recently moved to a new house and discovered my neighbour enjoys feeding the local birds.  My neighbour uses hanging feeders and an open dish on a table with seed.  A week or two after moving in I discovered rats nesting between our gardens, this was promptly dealt with and the area cleared which was overgrown and contained old bricks etc.  I have replaced our fencing and our gardens are separated, my neighbour continues to feed as she always has but I notice that sometimes seed in the open dish is left out overnight.  Is it common for seed to be left out overnight and common for seed to be put out as my neighbour is doing?  I am asking because I feel I have lost some objectivity and fear I am worrying over not much at all.  My neighbour does end up feeding a fair number of pigeons so I think the seed amount going out is a bit excessive although I think my neighbour usually feeds just once a day.  Any comments or  feedback gratefully received.  I have spoken to my neighbour but I am afraid she doesn’t see an issue with the feeding and has said that she has had rats visiting for many years, we are in a rural location. Should I just let things be? 

  • Sorry no one has replied. The site is extremely quiet with few contributors these days.

    I empathise. I can see both sides. Personally, I'd not be encouraging pigeons as they are destructive in the veg patch. They're also not popular with people in general, esp around home settings where they can make a mess. They're also not endangered or needing help.

    Add to that, if there is a rat population, it is irresponsible to be fuelling it, and requiring repeated 'extermination'.

    However, feeding animals, incl pigeons, brings satisfaction and mental wellbeing, even if it defies logic as appears the case here.

    If you're asking for opinions, if it was me, I'd not accept the status quo. I'd probably explain how the rats had been dealt with and if it had to happen again, the neighbour can contribute to paying for it.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Thanks Robbo very helpful
  • Our feeders are in a quiet corner of the communal grounds of a very small estate of flats so we have to respect what others feel about things. A number of residents have window feeders so there is not a problem with feeding but people do get twitchy at the very thought of rats. As we can see our feeders from the kitchen window we soon notice if we get unwanted visitors and when this happens we just stop feeding and the rats move on to other food sources. Even with dishes under the seed feeders there will always be spillage on the ground which ground feeding birds clean up. In normal years we stop feeding during summer months as there is normally plenty of natural food around and that gives the area under the feeders time to grow back. We have not stopped this year as there seems to be less natural food locally at the moment. I do not think many people take the feeders down at night or at least not the people who we see with feeders but I suppose that would make sense if rats become a problem.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Thanks Pete, I developed a lot of anxiety about what looked to me like excessive feeding - I still think a lot of seed goes out on an open tray but I am trying to move on and not focus too much on it. I just hope my neighbour can manage any further problems to prevent things escalating again.
  • Though we don't have a rat problem, we actively liaise with neighbours to ensure that they don't become a problem by keeping the ground as clear as possible, plus using trailcams to monitor the wildlife in the garden 24/7.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler