Possible problem with neighbours regarding bird feeding

Hello. I have a problem with neighbours who don't like that I feed birds in my backyard. They report me to Environmental Health on a yearly basis, despite the fact that the council has never taken any measure against me.

Today, there's a car from a pest control company parked in front of my neighbours' house. I don't know if they called them for the birds or some other problem, but I am worried about the birds. I live in a terraced house and the birds can end up waiting for food on my roof and the one of my neighbours.

Anyone has had a similar experience or has any idea if the pest control can harm the birds? They're mainly sparrows and starlings, a few pigeons (usually less than ten) and occasionally other small birds like tits.

Thank you in advance for any reply.

  • Sounds more like a rat problem for them, or maybe they have mice in their house, presume it would be difficult for you to ask them?

     

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  • I personally, as yet, had any problems with feeding birds and neighbours objecting, but then the immediate neighbours also feed the birds with one exception, the young family on one side.

    While I'm not fully aware of the past history, other than you mention this is an annual thing, which suggests to me this probably has ongoing issues.

    I appreciate it isn't always easy to talk to neighbours, there are those who will did their heels in irrespective, but sometimes, and often, communicating with the neighbour can help to ease the problem. The best way to achieve that is to let them tell you why they don't like you feeding the birds. They may have a genuine concern, rats, mice and other rodents, or they may feel the birds are dirty, in that they carry disease.

    If they are genuinely having a rodent problem, and it isn't uncommon after all, bird food on the ground is easy pickings, then you could work things out in that they talk to you, you can aim to work a solution out.

    It could be the pest control vehicle is for a totally unrelated problem. I would have thought a pest control person would be calling on you if they felt, or knew, that the origins were with your feeders, otherwise it would be a wasted job, because the source hasn't been controlled.

    Here, living in a very built up area, I use trailcams, mainly to monitor bird and other wildlife activity, but at times, a rodent can be spotted, and at the point, the food is withdrawn for three weeks or so, depending on rodent observations following that first sighting.

    The birds will soon find food, they won't starve, and to be honest, we leave empty feeders, even now during breeding season, from time to time to encourage them to seek other food sources, and doing it during the breeding season also helps to encourage youngsters to seek food from other sources.

    It could also be something as basic as the bird poo left behind.

    Trying to understand their concerns, could help to resolve the issue, but there's no guarantee or magic wand.

    But the birds won't starve, they will seek out other food sources if the feeders are empty.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    No, unfortunately we are not on speaking terms. I saw the guy from the pest control company go inside the neighbours' house with something that looked like a trap for rodents, so maybe he wasn't here for the birds. We'll see.
  • I did try to talk to my neighbours in the past. I don't want to cause problems to them. I am an adult with Asperger's and I'm not very good at talking to people, but I got the mediation service involved a few years back to see if it was possible to find a compromise. Unfortunately, my neighbours didn't want a compromise: they want me to stop feeding the birds completely.

    I'm very careful about the food for the birds. The feeders are all hanging feeders that I clean every night. and I sweep the patio at least once a day. I've never had problems with mice myself.

    I think you make a good point by saying that the person from the pest control company would have contacted me if he thought I was the source of the problem.
  • In reply to Mike B:

    I did try to talk to my neighbours in the past. I don't want to cause problems to them. I am an adult with Asperger's and I'm not very good at talking to people, but I got the mediation service involved a few years back to see if it was possible to find a compromise. Unfortunately, my neighbours didn't want a compromise: they want me to stop feeding the birds completely.

    I'm very careful about the food for the birds. The feeders are all hanging feeders that I clean every night. and I sweep the patio at least once a day. I've never had problems with mice myself.

    I think you make a good point by saying that the person from the pest control company would have contacted me if he thought I was the source of the problem.
  • Sadly a lot of people can't handle anyone with aspergers, or other conditions, which is a great shame. Added to that, we do have quite a few people from time to time with neighbour issues, so your not alone, even though it will feel that way.

    I could be wrong, but I would have thought, if your feeding birds was a problem, then a pest control representative would have approached you to advise of the situation, or they would be wasting time and money.

    It could be a case of just ignoring the fact they report you, unless, they make an official visit. I understand how uncomfortable that might make you feel, it would leave me feeling uncomfortable as well. So long as you continue to feed the birds responsibly, as you seem to be doing, then I can't see anything wrong being done.

    I'm sure if a pest control representative were to approach you, they would work with you to resolve the rodent/pest problem as amicably as possible.

    To put a variation on an Abraham Lincoln quote:

    "You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time."

    The original quote if you're interested:

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

    On a friendly note, stick with us, we're a friendly if not a little (some would say very crazy) crazy bunch, and share your sightings, and partake in what we share among ourselves.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • I had to call out pest control for my garden as rats where in large numbers and it was dealt with very quickly. And now I have no problems at the present time time. But it had to be done as the number of rats where getting out of control and coukd be seen in large numbers evert day and pest control where quick and efficient..

    Regards,

    Ian.

  • In reply to Mike B:

    :) Thank you for your kind words.

    I don't participated in forums very often, but I will try to stick around.
  • I'm glad you solved your problem. Personally, I've never seen rats in my backyard,
  • In reply to Alectoris:

    Do you have a compost bin? One sure fire way of finding out if there are rats is to set up an easy to access bin. Obviously, there is an element of encouraging them. Not ideal, but as a temporary way to prove if there are any, is to provide one. Easy to see signs then. e.g. holes at the surface of the bin.