Helping the local bird population prepare for the winter ahead, is the perfect tonic and a way to give back to nature.
Find comfort from nature during second lockdown
So far 2020 has left us all feeling a bit bruised and battered. Moreover, the short, darker Autumnal days have arrived, and our mental health can take a hit. Helping the local bird population prepare for the winter ahead, is the perfect tonic and a way to give back to nature.
Nicole Paley, PFMA Deputy Chief Executive, adds: "During this pandemic, many of us have already reconnected with nature, explored more local walks and we have seen a drive in pet ownership. However, for those who are not able to own a pet, feeding the birds is a wonderful option to increase your exposure to wildlife.
With garden centres and pet shops remaining open during Lockdown 2.0, you can support a local business as well as the local birds."
Nicole shares some tips
Who can feed?
Not everyone who feeds the birds has a large garden, although of course this makes it easier. Almost anyone can enjoy feeding the birds whether it is from a balcony, shared garden or your local school. It simply takes a bit more thought and creativity. Garden centres, pet shops and online retailers offer a range of different feeders, which can be freestanding, hung in trees or attached to a balcony or window.
Feeding the birds is a special way of getting children involved and they learn to appreciate and care for animals.
When to feed?
Different species of birds have different requirements. It’s worth doing a little research into the types of birds that frequent your area. The birds in large cities will be different from those in rural communities.
Some species are ground feeders (e.g. Robin and Dunnock) while others prefer to feed from hanging feeders (e.g. Blue Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker). There is a wide range of products in the market suitable for hanging feeders, bird tables and ground feeding. Depending on your area and what products you buy for your garden, you will attract certain types of birds.
What to feed?
During autumn and winter, put out food regularly. Birds require high energy food during cold weather, to survive the frosty days and nights. Foods that are high in fat would provide a good source of energy for instance sun hearts, peanuts and suet products.
Also, if you have a bird bath, don’t forget to check the water hasn’t frozen.
How much to provide?
The amount of food in your feeder is important. If the food you put in takes days to clear, this means you should reduce the amount.
Ideally, bird tables should be swept clean each day to remove droppings and any uneaten food. Find out more https://www.pfma.org.uk/birds-hygiene
And be patient!
If it takes a few days before you see any birds, don't be discouraged. The birds will visit regularly once they discover the food and convince themselves it is not a trap. However, if you start then please don’t stop as your birds will become dependent and return several times day.
For more tips and advice on supporting your local bird population this winter, please visit: https://www.pfma.org.uk/wild-birds