Feeding wildlife

We live in a small village in the countryside and my wife loves to feed all the birds including the wood pigeons.  Unfortunately due to having cats and rats we can't feed the ground feeder like robins.  The wood pigeons have a small tray not far from the other feeders.  No issue with the other feeder and seeds on the ground. We have one or two wood pigeons that are regular visitors and wait for us to feed them.  However they chuck some seed out and also when they flap their wings to take off, seed goes flying out. 

This seed goes on the ground which in turn attracts rats.  The rats in turn have decided that as there is a food supply nearby they will nest on the engine cover of my car as it is nice and flat and out of the wind.  The car is about 2 m from the pigeon feeder and parked on the road.  We have tried various methods to try and deter the rats, but to no avail. Even our cats have not managed to catch Mr Rat and they are normally quite good at catching rats.  Living next to an orchard does not help either.

We are thinking of paying the extra and changing the seed the RSPB No mess & no waste sunflower hearts, but it is our guess is that some may still end up on the floor.  We would want a small feeder suitable for the wood pigeons, but with a tray underneath to catch any seed falling from the feeder and not landing on the ground.

We are open to all suggestions bearing in mind I am not a DIY person.  Many thanks.

  • You can find feeders with trays under them online. 

    Theres differant types. You can get a feeder tray to catch the food from the shops aswell 

    Another idea is you could get  a bird table or hanging bird table  and then hang a feeder tray under the bird food 

  • An interesting scenario, and I'm probably the last to advise.

    Rats nesting in a car engine bay, not unheard of, particularly if the vehicle isn't used very often, spending lots of time unused and undisturbed, but something to be stopped, because rats can and will chew wiring, and there are some high voltage and high current wires in the engine bay, MORE SO IF ITS AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE, let alone all the other wires to all the safety and car running features.

    We have woodland a ¼ mile away, and two doors down, an unkempt garden when I say unkempt, its not had any attention for as long as we've lived here, and that's 20+ years, and is home to rats, much to the annoyance of the adjoining neighbours.

    I could be wrong, it is inevitable that some seed will fall, unless some form of tray is under the feeder(s) to catch any before it reaches the ground.

    Pigeons, and even collared doves, will attempt to get on to the feeder(s), often successfully after numerous failed attempts, which in turn will cause feed to spill. We've been lucky regarding visiting rats, only seeing one a few months ago, and that was thwarted, humanely, by instantly removing all feed, therefore it gave up quickly and moved on.

    We also instigate a simple cleaning routine, any spilt seed is cleaned up on a daily basis, reducing, not totally removing, a large plume of available feed for rats.

    You could try the RSPB feeder you mention, and there may be someone on the forum who has used one or knows of someone who has used one and can share some info.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler