Rats and birdfood

I have been putting fat balls in a feeder hung from the washing line near the garage. A magnolia tree overhangs the washing line. I was wondering why the fat balls were going so quickly - It's usually the sparrows that eat them. Then, yesterday, in broad daylight, I saw a big, brown rat hanging on the string to the feeder with as much finesse as a bird. I've taken the feeder down and put the fat balls on my ordinary bird table. But the kind of food we put out for birds is obviously attractive to rats too. Any tips?
  • Hi, Sylvia.  You've probably done the only thing you could - I'm not sure if the rat will make it on to a bird table (though a squirrel won't be stopped!!).

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    I bought an RSPB pole and my husband put it in the lawn well away from any bushes. I thought I'd won.

    But of course, fragments of food fall on the grass around the pole. This morning, I looked out to see two big brown rats on my lawn, in broad daylight.