20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 16


Probably many people other than myself have been dis- appointed to find that birds are not as a rule fond of porridge, a form of food that is often at hand at breakfast time when most of us attend to the wants of our birds. They neglect the porridge in open weather ; and if they would eat it under the compulsion of frost they are prevented; for it fic4Zes into an impenetrable lump, It delights me to discover that though they will not eat cooked porridge, a great many species rejoice in raw Quaker Oats, in spite of its rather dry and dusty appearance. Birds are curiously faddy about varieties of grain. Oats are not as a rule a favourite ; and most birds, partridges above others, have a strong preference for barley, even over wheat. I see that a writer in, the most excellent monthly publication by the Country Gentleman's AssociatiOn, avers that they refuse altogether to cat rice.