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When should I start feeding the birds again?

After seeing a rat in the late spring, I stopped filling the bird feeder.
When should I start feeding the birds again?
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,183
    When you want the rat to come back.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,178
    😁 @wild edges
    Seriously though, l  think all you can do is start feeding when the days get colder (unless you want to start straight away),and if the rat appears again then you will have to stop. 

  • B3B3 Posts: 27,019
    Next door feeds all the time and I haven't seen a rat. I don't think rats respect fence boundaries so it probably wouldn't make much difference.
    I was thinking more along the lines of when it's most necessary for the birds.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,100
    edited October 2022
    The RSPB advises to feed at all times of year, but I wait until the trees are no longer laden with berries and the lawn's not frozen and still allowing access to worms!
    Feeding Birds | When To Feed Garden Birds - The RSPB

    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,178
    edited October 2022
    Ah right.
    As @Plantminded says the recommendation these days is all year round, but the birds seem to be finding plenty to eat in the garden at the moment and no youngsters to take care of.
    I usually wait until there's a distinct chill in the air.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,100
    In that RSPB link, it was interesting to read that food shortages can occur for birds in summer too.  This year, due to the dry, hard lawn, I noticed that the blackbirds were targeting border edges around paths and paving for worms and displacing lots of soil where it was unwanted! 
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,856
    edited October 2022
    I feed all year.   It means more birds survive winter and have the energy to build nests and lay strong eggs and then the adults have the energy to search for juicy insects to feed their chicks and more chicks survive and the added bonus is the hoovering up of garden pests such as aphids and caterpillars.

    I carry on thru spring and summer so they can have more broods and the young ones learn where to come when they can't forage.   Thanks to the extensive droughts and heatwaves this year there is less wild food available - blackberries shrivelled on the canes and poor berries and, I suspect, fewer seeds if the harvests of local sweetcorn, wheat and sunflower seeds are anything to go by.

    Fresh water every day is important too.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • The birds round here tell us. If food goes from the table they need it, when it doesn't go they don't need it. From early Summer to Winter they don't come near the table.
    They obviously prefer their own fresh food, ours is second rate for when theirs isn't available.
    The worse the weather gets, the more and the rarer birds visit.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,089
    We feed the birds all the time,  they need extra food when they’re nest sitting,  then when the babies are out,  then need to build up strength sometimes for another sitting or to migrate. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • floraliesfloralies Posts: 2,591
    I don't usually start feeding the birds until December and finish about late April, and that is mainly because I go through 40+ kg of sunflower hearts. They are very expensive here, we are surrounded by sunflower fields yet the French sell huge bags of the large and small whole ones but very few and expensive hearts. The mixed bags of food are rubbish, padded out with various millett seeds. You can buy better ones on line but then have the cost of delivery. 
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