Rat-proof bird feeder? Help please!!

  • In reply to TrishC:

    If you can learn to tolerate squirrels, and let them make your garden their territory. They will end your rat problem overnight. They do not tolerate rats, and easily kill them. They are must more ruthless than cats and a similar size and faster. Rats have no chance. I would suggest hanging monkey nuts from your washing line. and in other extremely hard to reach places beyond even a rats reach. Once the squirrels move in, no more rats.

  • We have the same problem RATS! Our feeders are under trees as to deter a killer sparrow hawk that visits us and takes the little birds, We sparrow hawk proofed our feeding areas and now blessed RATS, so if we move our feeders out into the open again with baffles top and bottom, the little birdies are vulnerable yet again,,, we just simply cant win :(
  • Hi Anita
    I wouldn't put a Sparrowhawk in the same class as a Rat, though they both have to eat, it is just Rats are prolific breeders.
    Sparrowhawks wont catch a bird every try and the more birds you get the more eyes there are to keep a lookout, all of us that have feeders out will at some point get a Sparrowhawk, I get at least one daily and rarely see it catch anything.
    I would put the priority on getting rid of the Rats rather than the Sparrowhawk.

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  • In reply to Alan.:

    We are rat proofing regardless of our sparrowhawk problem, We have two or three rats now on our feeders at the same time, and in the daytime whilst we are sitting in the garden,, they are very cheeky. I love birds, all birds even the pesky sparrowhawk but it breaks my heart to hear the tiny birds squeaking as they're taken. We have two feeding stations both under trees, so they are going to be moved into the open, until I get the baffles I shall be smearing grease up the stands of the stations, so the rats cant grip and climb them..
  • Just move the feeders slightly away from the tree so the Rats cant climb up but close enough for the birds to dive for cover, do you have trays on your feeders to catch the spillage?

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  • Who couldn't love a face like that LOL

    Don't answer that Wendy LOL.

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  • My lips are sealed D! Ha ha ha


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  • Well update on the rat situation! We greased the bird feeder poles and moved away from the trees a little... last night we had 6 RATS! going around in circles wondering how to get to the feeders...their heads were pickled.... we still have to get the feeders with trays on to stop so much spillage and we have ordered some no mess bird seed, so fingers crossed they start looking elsewhere for their breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. We have yet to see the squirrel to see what he/she thinks of the situation!
  • Looks like you've found a solution Anita.

    In passing, if you hang your feeders (although that means trees, of course) it's easy (and cheap) to rig up your own spillage tray under the feeder.

    One of our feeders uses a square tray (very cheap; meant to go under a big square plant pot). Make a couple of loops of string/rope so that they span the square diagonally and the tray sits in them; the two loops cross under the feeder. Then hang these loops over a tree branch, each with an additional length of string/rope. One added plus is that this makes it very easy to adjust the tray in any direction. So, if you have snow for example.

    On Sparrowhawks, an acquaintance tells me that one year they had a female raid the garden daily; she spent her time while not eating on a heating cistern next to the house. To gain a fraction of a second on the hunt, she would---apparently---fly through a square aperture in some wooden garden trellis, rather than around/over it.

    Now that's a bird that deserves our respect. To my mind anyhow.

    All the best -