[Tweeters] bird feeding and rats

Mark Vernon ma_vern at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 1 13:35:30 PDT 2007

A good way to engage in the rival sport of "rat watching" is to pay close attention to bird feeders. I have found that suet in particular brings out the smaller of the rat species, the Black Rat. I live in a condominium where these are known as "Roof Rats". These will dangle down any attachments to get to the goodies, they are extremely acrobatic. In my case the Norway Rats were less prevalent but still present.

Although I had to stop feeding when the rats chewed their way into the walls, I did enjoy watching them. There was one mother rat with only half a tail that I liked. She was actually a very light color, and carried two small babies and her back as she dangled her way onto the hanging seed carrier. The Roof Rats really loved the suet and would lick it with their little tongues.

In general birds were not inconvienced because these rats were nocturnal.

I see Norway Rats in lots of places that I go birding, Lincoln Park in West Seattle is a good example. I have seen rats at the "Montlake Fill". Once at Green Lake I saw a big rat jump out of the bushes and elbow it's way into a mob of Rock Doves to get the popcorn.

Mark Vernon
Renton, WA
mailto ma_vern at yahoo.com

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