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Posts Tagged ‘feeding birds’

Square Ground Bird Table

This year the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over three days for the first time, running from Saturday 28 January to Monday 30 January, this means that if you are busy over the weekend or the weather is bad you still have the option to take part on the Monday – you could even do it at work in your dinner hour!

The Big Garden Birdwatch has now been going over 35 years, it originally started in 1979 as a Winter activity that junior RSPB members could get involved in, Biddy Baxter who was then the editor of Blue Peter liked the idea and featured it on one the programmes, the response was amazing with over 34,000 people sending in their forms, it wasn’t until 2001 that adults were invited to join in the fun too.

Big Schools Birdwatch

Schools can take part in the Big Schools Birdwatch anytime before 17 February 2017, either as a whole school or in classes; the Birdwatch is suitable for all ages and abilities and an invaluable educational activity which allows pupils to get closer to nature and become aware of their environment and its wildlife.

CJ Wildlife Giant Fat Ball Bird Feeder

Getting started

Visit the RSPBs website and register for your free pack which is full of fascinating facts, tips and advice.

Make sure that you have plenty of bird feeders and bird food available in your garden; it is recommended that you feed the birds throughout the year and not just for the Big Garden Birdwatch or during Winter. If your bird feeders have been out at while it may be an idea to give them a wash before filling them up, this applies to your bird baths also as good hygiene and clean water are very important.

On the day – Find somewhere warm, dry and comfortable to view the birds, have a pen, your checklist/pad, a pair of binoculars and friends/family who can also look for birds.

What to do – For one hour count the maximum number of each species that you see at any one time, this means that you are less likely to double count the same birds.

Here are some of the more common birds that you might see:

  • Blackbird
  • Blue tit
  • Chaffinch
  • Coal tit
  • Collared dove
  • Dunnock
  • Goldfinch
  • Great tit
  • Greenfinch
  • House sparrow
  • Long-tailed tit
  • Magpie
  • Robin
  • Starling
  • Woodpigeon

Keep watching closely there are many other species that may visit your garden especially if the weather is cold.

Send in your Birdwatch results to the RSPB by 17th February 2017.

For more information and advice on feeding the birds in your garden click here.

I shall be taking part, happy bird watching

Gill

 

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At the moment our back garden is not very tranquil we have approximately 16 young Starlings and their parents visiting throughout the day, I can’t believe how much noise they make. They are very demanding and very naïve as are most of the birds that are newly fledged from nests or bird boxes. It is a very critical time for birds and their chicks, this warm weather really helps as it brings with it new hatchings of insects and caterpillars, perfect food for young birds, but a cold and wet spell can really affect the young and parent bird’s survival.

Starling Nest Box

I put bird food out every morning on the lawn and on the bird table, I am sure they must watch me through the kitchen window, waiting for me to come out, they are all very hungry, as soon as I’ve turned my back they are tucking in. The young Starlings (which look bigger than their parents) make me laugh they sit on the lawn surrounded by food and wait for their parents to feed them, which they dutifully do. The young birds are fascinated by the pond they keep climbing on the metal grid that we have over it, wobbling and falling in, they manage to get out quite easily though. The pond provides water for drinking and bathing which is very important especially during the warm weather if you haven’t a pond consider putting out a bird bath/water dish.

Provide water for the birds

In the evening, and a moment of calm after the birds had gone to bed, we were sat out in the garden when some large insects flew over they were ‘May Bugs’ also called Cockchafer Beetles or Melolontha melolontha. They are not a true bug but a large beetle and the largest species of Chafer Beetle in the UK. They are more commonly found in the South and appear on warm evenings from May to July, and are attracted to artificial light often coming indoors through open windows. ‘May Bugs’ may look a bit scary but they are harmless to humans. They are about 3cm in length with short feelers on their black head and a hairy body, with non hairy reddish-brown wing cases. The complete life-cycle from egg to adult takes about 3-4 years.

The grubs are considered a pest feeding underground on roots and they can destroy pastures and crops, you may have come across some of the grubs whilst digging, I have on my allotment and they are pretty horrible to look at. The grubs are ‘C’ shaped, have six legs and are white with reddish-brown heads, they hatch from eggs in about 5-6 weeks and can grow to 4 cm they will live for 3 years and then turn into a pupae and remain underground over winter to emerge as adult beetles the next year. The beetles only live for about a month but will mate and lay their eggs underground on roots before they die. The grubs are favourite food for Rooks, Crows and Gulls and the beetles are eaten by Owls and Bats.

Keep looking out for ‘May Bugs’ we found this one on the road; it was probably hit by a car.

May Bug

Love your Environment  (not sure about the ‘May Bug’ grubs!)

Gill

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If you are cooking for the birds CJ Wildlife suggest:

If you are unfortunate enough to run out of bird food, or want to make what you have left last a little longer, why not try making some bird food of your own?

Lard or dripping can be mixed in with cake crumbs or broken biscuits (avoiding chocolate ones as a chemical in chocolate is toxic to birds) to make it easier for the birds to eat if it’s too soft.

 It can also be rubbed into tree trunks or rough walls to make a “feeding stripe” for smaller birds such as Wrens and Long-tailed Tits. Mild cheese is best served coarsely grated and suet can be fed “neat”. Some people swear by crushed digestive biscuits as a supplement.

Feeding the birds not only gives them a huge helping hand during the winter months, it also brings some fascinating wildlife into the garden. 

During the colder weather in particular, all sorts of unusual varieties can put in an appearance as they hunt for food …

For a lovely range of wildlife and bird feeding goodies visit www.recycleworks.co.uk.

 

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2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and people all over the world are being encouraged to look at ways to safeguard the variety of plants and animals on their doorstep. 

…And in this special National Nest Box Week, which runs from 14th to 21st of February it’s time to provide homes for the dozens of species of bird in Britain … be they blue tits, robins, chaffinches or cheeky house sparrows.

National Nest Box Week is organised each year by the British Trust for Ornithology, Britain’s leading bird research charity. 

They recognise that the natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. 

It is now estimated that there are between 5 and 6 million nesting boxes in gardens across the UK and they are having huge benefits for our bird populations.

So why not support National Nest Box Week and put up nest boxes in your local area.  You’ll be doing your bit for the conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.  …Plus in a few weeks time you will have all the fun of watching as bird activity in the garden goes into overdrive with the arrival of young and all that that entails!

Take a look at our great range of nesting boxes.  For the perfect nest box for robins & wrens there is the Robin & Wren Nest Box.  Made from FSC wood, this attractive, flat based open nest box has been designed specifically for these types of birds.

The Birch Log Hole Nest Box, looks beautifully natural and its 32mm hole makes it suitable for species including Great Tits, House Sparrows and Nuthatches. 

 To clean, simply unscrew one side of the lid. As this is a natural product there will be some variations in dimensions.

Made from FSC wood

The Open Birch Log Nest Box is made from a single birch log and is suitable for attracting Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds. 

Also made from FSC wood.

The Tall Oval Nesting Pouch  is for all small birds providing essential protection on cold nights to preserve body fat and enable survival.

It also provides nesting space for small birds mainly Wrens and Goldcrests.

Made from natural durable materials, these nests come complete with fixing wire and detailed instructions. The nests are light and easy to fix in hedgerows, ivy, on pergolas, fencing, walls and small trees or bushes.

Comes with hanger and instructions.

…And for watching all the action as it unfolds take a look at the versatile Wildlife Surveillance Camera .

It features a superb colour/ infrared, weatherproof camera unit in an FSC timber housing for additional protection and security. Complete with audio and integral infrared lights (invisible to the eye and animals) the camera automatically swaps from colour during daylight, to infrared (black and white) in low light conditions.

Ideal for bird tables and feeders, it’s also perfect for making night-time observation of badgers, foxes and hedgehogs. The kit comes complete with a long screened extension cable, low voltage power unit and scart adapter to plug directly into your TV or recorder.

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