Damage was caused before they left to feed elsewhere. Since then, all the local farms have had pigeon feeding on their rape fields, but none has come back to ours.

I have heard it said that pigeon dislike some varieties of rape. If ?taste? was the answer, why did the birds attack our fields earlier, but then desert them?

Pigeon shooting

GRAHAM DOWNING

There is some evidence that pigeon prefer some varieties of rape, but this is unlikely to be the cause of the birds feeding elsewhere.

The single most important factor for pigeon preferring one field to another, if both contain similar crops, is geography.

It may be that the preferred field is close to a roosting wood or even the fact that the field is at the bottom of a hill instead of on the top.

Stage of growth is also important.

Birds may, for example, find a newly emerging crop of winter-sown rape palatable, but dislike the crop as it becomes older, tougher and less nutritious.

If there is no obvious reason why the pigeon are feeding on neighbouring rape fields instead of yours, then perhaps you might consider the way the fields have been managed.

Have any pesticides or fertilizers been applied that may have made the crop less palatable?

Nitrogen fertilizer, for instance, may make rape leaves sour to the taste, so it could be worth checking.