Feeding Birds

If you really enjoy helping out the Wild Birds in your garden and try to keep them well fed and watered you may be thinking what else could I possibly be doing?

The recent RSPB ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ once again showed a decline in some of our loved Garden birds such as Sparrows which have dropped 63% since 1979, and Starlings which have dropped a massive 82% in numbers over the same period. Other birds affected include the Bullfinch and Song thrushes.

But more of us are feeding birds in our gardens more and more each year which is helpful, and we are providing better quality mixes and more bird family specific ranges in customer stores to help in this, but what else can we do to ensure we support, and attract such birds in our gardens?

The gardens of suburban homes no longer offer the wild habitats of the past gardens, wild flower beds have been replaced with smart well cut lawns, or worse still patios with barbeques on them!!

None of these encourage the insects that many birds feed on. So we are encouraged to think about our gardens and here are a few tips to help in promoting a bird friendly Garden:

  • If you can grow a good hedgerow as this gives a safe habitat for birds particularly sparrows who love them.

  • Leave an area of your lawn to grow wild and long and encourage wild and meadow flowers in that area. Try to nectar rich flowers like knapweed, and sunflowers which give their seeds up in the winter as well.

  • Don’t be too hasty to sweep up the leaves as leaving them down give thrushes and blackbirds great places to hunt for insects

  • Grow more fruit bearing plants so there is available food in the winter months

  • Think about a nesting box, but maybe one for Starlings as thee birds do nest in boxes but like them high up in the bows of a good tree.

  • Also make sure there is plenty of clean water for drinking and bathing and all of these are in a safe area if possible cat free.

As things get tougher for our beautiful garden birds we all should be careful to do our bit to help and there is plenty to do and not everything costs money!

Keeping Caged Birds Healthy

 We are all aware of the importance of top quality, clean seed in our bird’s diet to ensure they are in the best of health and full of vitality.

This is especially true when they are going through the ‘Moult’ which will usually occur in the autumn. When replacing their feathers our birds generally need more food and vitamins to help in the production of new feathers, so we need to make sure that they have plenty of good food available to them. If young birds show growth lines across their feathers it is a sign that during their rearing they went short of food at this critical time. Don’t worry though, because by feeding a good quality seed diet when they do moult into their adult plumage the new feathers will lose the growth lines and you will have an even more beautiful pet or aviary bird.

A less generally known fact is our bird’s need for access to natural daylight.

If a bird is permanently kept indoors then the natural ultra violet rays are filtered out by glass so putting your bird next to a window does not help. Just imagine how sallow you would become if you never went outside. By giving your bird access to daylight for just twenty minutes a day will ensure they receive the natural ultra violet rays that they require like us for certain vitamin production.

And it costs nothing!