It is very important that we all feed the birds especially at the moment during this cold snap although the weather this winter has been relatively mild so far. Your supply of food can save the lives of many birds. A survey last month revealed that 59% of people rarely or never feed the birds in the winter months. Many birds including the Blue Tit which only weighs one third of an ounce needs to eat 40% of their bodyweight just to stay alive in cold weather and they rely on us putting out food. It is vital to provide food on a daily basis as much of the birds energy can be used up searching for food.
Hygiene is very important so before you fill up your bird feeders it is a good idea to check if any remaining food has gone bad, if so this should be thrown away and the feeders given a good wash, I checked mine this week and found that this was the case, I think that during the mild and wet Christmas period the birds were not eating as much and so the food had started to go black and mouldy. You will also need to clean bird tables regularly as bird droppings can transmit disease especially if they are mixed with food and also discard any mouldy food left on the bird table.
It is equally important to provide clean water for the birds both for drinking and also bathing this is essential to keep feathers in good condition, bird droppings can also accumulate in Bird Baths too and so these will need to be washed out regularly. During cold weather check that they have not frozen up, the addition of a tennis ball will help to prevent this.