News of Our Group, and Relevant News for Our Members

Monday 2 December 2019

Help birds survive the winter.


Frosted tree in english landscape

Your garden can become a winter haven for birds.

Autumn is here. But the colder nights and bitter winds mean garden birds will struggle for food and shelter. The RSPB is appealing to people to help our garden birds survive.

The countryside is being stripped of the foods birds rely upon at the time that birds need more energy to stay warm, but have less daylight time to find food.

Birds have been feeding on insects and seeds but now this food is scarce so the cold weather means that many have to move into our gardens to find food. Now is your chance to make a real difference and improve their chances of survival. The key things birds will need this winter are food, water and shelter.

The RSPB suggests calorie-rich foods such as mixed seed, sunflower seed, nyjer seed and good quality peanuts. kitchen scraps like mild grated cheese, bruised fruit, cooked rice, unsalted bits of hard fat, roast potatoes and dry porridge go down a treat with garden birds. Also essential is ice-free fresh water for drinking and bathing.

You should never put out fats and juices from cooking turkey, beef, goose, etc., into your garden. This is because the juices can soil feathers, may be salty and can create a breeding ground for bacteria. Other foods to avoid are dried coconut, cooked porridge oats, milk, and mouldy or salted food.

Do not sprinkle 'reindeer food' with glitter, sequins or similar ingredients in the garden.

It isn't just birds that can be accidentally harmed. E.g. Mince pies can be fatal for dogs, due to the sultanas and currants.

If you have received bird feeders for Christmas then have patience. It may seem that the birds are ignoring them, but it takes time to build up a clientele. Don't let the food go stale while you are waiting for customers. No success after a month or two? Try moving the feeders or changing the food offered.

Please read more tips in the updated news item, Please feed us, but carefully

Photo of a tree in winter by Hans Braxmeier