Re “flying rats (starlings)”

Dear Editor

This is the first time I have written a letter to the Chronicle, however having read the letter from a reader in last month’s issue with regards to feeding “flying rats” and not “encouraging” them into our gardens, I felt I had to respond.

I understand the frustrations of birds pooing on washing, cars and patios, etc. but please don’t blame this on “inconsiderate people”.

This is the time of year that adult birds are raising and feeding their young and if people like to put out bird food, then it is simply not possible to be species specific nor indeed direct the birds’ toilet habits.

Starling numbers have declined by 66% since the mid 70s and also, according to the RSPB, because of this decline in numbers, the starling is red listed as a bird of high conservation concern.

I feed the birds in our garden every day, from blackbirds and robins to collared doves and jackdaws. The happiness it brings is immeasurable. Even more important to people after the last couple of years of Covid restrictions.

The beautiful starling

Look closely, starlings are beautiful, intelligent, social birds with great character, watch a murmuration – stunning!

Starling murmuration
Starling murmuration – Photo courtesy of Countryfile

We are not cat owners but regularly have several visit our garden, uninvited, and they leave somewhat larger and smellier poo for us to deal with. Should I say “inconsiderate cat owners” should keep their pets indoors or at least within their own boundaries?

We also have hedgehog visitors, who leave their presents on the patio. I would certainly never discourage them.

Personally I feel we should all encourage the love of nature and wildlife, be kind, be understanding, poo and all!

Louise (Kibworth Beauchamp)