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Posts Tagged ‘Live Mealworms’

The nights are getting colder and the days shorter, both of these can have a huge and often negative effect on our birds. Birds need extra food to keep them warm during chilly nights, the reduced daylight hours mean there is less time to search for natural food which as the winter progresses will become scarcer, this is why the RSPB have launched ‘Feed the Birds Day’ to raise awareness on how important it is to put out food for our wonderful feathered friends. This year it is on Saturday 24th October which is the last day of British Summer Time when the clocks go forward and it will then go darker an hour earlier.

How and what should we feed the birds

If possible put out different types of food in a variety of feeders which will be suitable for a wide range of birds, when the weather is cold birds need to eat 40% of their own body weight per day to survive.

Jupiter Peanut FeederNut feeders are made from rigid steel mesh, which is large enough to prevent birds from damaging their beaks yet will only allow small pieces of nut to be removed. Peanuts are high in fat, buy certified peanuts from a reputable supplier as some poor quality peanuts can contain the natural toxin called Aflatoxin which can kill birds, never give birds salted or dry roasted peanuts. Will attract: Tits, Greenfinches, Sparrows, Nuthatches, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Siskins, crushed nuts are favoured by Robins, Dunnocks and Wrens.

The Adventurer FeederSeed Feeders often consist of a clear cylindrical tube with feeding ports and perching rings at the bottom of the feeder. Fill with Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Hearts (both are high energy foods) or seed mixtures specifically for seed feeders. Will attract House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Finches and Collared Doves. Tits and Greenfinches favour sunflower seeds and crushed peanuts.

Nyjer Seed FeederNyjer Seed Feeders have very small feeding ports to control the flow of seed and minimise waste, although it is very fine Nyjer Seed is rich in oil and highly nutritious. A favourite of Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Siskins.

Hanging Star Fatball FeederFat Ball/Cake Feeders are designed to hold fat balls or fat cakes, always remove any nylon mesh bags before placing them in your feeders, these bags are a hazard to wildlife and birds can become entangled and injured. Fat Balls/Cakes can also be put on to all Bird Tables whole or broken up. Popular with all birds especially the Tit family.

Wooden Peanut Butter FeederPeanut Butter Feeders will provide your birds with a nutritious, high energy treat, refills are available in different flavours (original, nut, mealworm, insect) which are specially formulated for birds, do not give birds peanut butter for human consumption as it has a very high salt content. A favourite of the Tit family.

Mealworms for BirdsLive Mealworms are an important source of protein and extremely beneficial in Spring for young chicks and adults throughout the winter when insects are scarce. Serve your mealworms in a container with smooth, vertical sides so that they cannot escape. The Robin is often the first to the dish but they attract Wrens, Dunnocks, Tits, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Starlings and House Sparrows.

New York Hanging Slate TableBird Tables are available in many different designs; freestanding, hanging, wall mounted or ground. Bird tables that have a roof will give protection to birds from predators and keep the food dry.

Selection Bird Feeding TableGround Bird Tables are especially useful for ground feeding and larger birds such as Blackbirds, Thrushes and Starlings, they will still be used by smaller birds too. Elevating the food off the ground reduces the risk of hygiene problems, move the table around the garden to avoid the build up of any waste food or droppings, only put out enough food that will be eaten to avoid attracting vermin.

Coniston Bird BathBird Baths are very important and provide your birds with a supply of fresh water for drinking and bathing throughout the year, they should been cleaned out regularly and replaced with fresh water daily especially during warm weather and freezing conditions.

Leftover Food

It may be tempting to ‘treat’ your birds to some of your leftovers but this can do more harm than good:

  • Bread – although not harmful to birds it is not very nutritional and just fills them up
  • Salty Food – including salted or dry roasted peanuts can dehydrate them
  • Cooking fat from roasted meats, polyunsaturated margarines or vegetable oils – Can contain bacteria and salt, soft fats can smear on feathers destroying their waterproofing and insulating qualities. Hard fats such as Lard and Beef Suet are fine.
  • Milk – cannot be digested and can cause stomach upsets, cheese can be given safely.
  • Stale or Mouldy Food – can cause respiratory problems and salmonella.

Hygiene

The Urban Bird Feeder

The Urban Bird Feeder

Regularly clean bird feeders, bird tables and bird baths, wash well using a stiff brush and a mild disinfectant, rinse and allow to completely dry out before refilling. Wash them outside use separate utensils, wearing gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Throw away mouldy bird food from feeders and tables if there is a surplus reduce the amount that you put out, excess food on the ground can attract rats and mice.

Now is the time to check your feeders, buy some new ones and stock up on your bird food for the winter, why not get the children involved, then sit back and enjoy watching the birds in your garden.

Gill

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Winter is finally here with sub-zero temperatures and a covering of snow in many parts with yet more forecast. The fall in temperatures will come as quite a shock to our wildlife they have endured a relatively mild winter up to now, but we as a nation of wildlife lovers can really help. The birds in our garden are struggling to find any food as their natural food sources are depleted or frozen in the ground, fresh unfrozen water too will be hard to find, High Calorie/Energy foods with a High Fat Content are the most beneficial to put out for the birds :

Seed Mixes are prepared using top quality high calorie ingredients and have been developed to appeal to, and benefit a wide variety of bird species all year round and include High Energy Bird Mix, Bird Feeder Seed, Table Seed Mix, Gourmet Robin Food as well as Nyjer Seed and Sunflower Heart Seeds.

Table Seed Mix

High Fat content Bird Foods are also high in calories and include Peanut Cakes, Fat Balls, Fat filled Coconuts, Peanut Cake Bells and Suet Pellets with Insects and are excellent winter food.

High calorie Peanut Cakes

Live Mealworms are a natural food and relished by Robins, Blue Tits and other insect eating birds and should be provided when fresh.

Live Mealworms are loved by Blue Tits

Clean water is important for the birds both for drinking and also bathing this is essential to keep their feathers in good condition. To prevent the water from freezing add a lightweight ball which will move in the breeze or pour on hot water to melt the ice.

Ceramic Hanging Bird Bath / Water Dish

Ceramic Hanging Bird Bath / Water Dish

Have a look at our range of Bird Food, Bird Feeders, Bird Tables, Bird Baths and treat the birds in your garden.

Gill

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The prolonged wet weather that we have endured over the last few months has had a devastating affect on our wildlife says the National Trust, Birds, Bats, Butterflies and Bees have all been affected.

Pembroke Nest Box

Pembroke Nest Box

Birds have struggled to find food for themselves and their young, caterpillars and insects have literally been washed away, we can help birds now by giving them protein rich foods such as live mealworms and putting up nest boxes for shelter.

Double Chamber Wooden Bat Box

Double Chamber Wooden Bat Box

Bats have been affected due to the lack of insects on the wing, although we cannot provide a substitute food source we can provide somewhere warm and dry for them to roost and breed by putting up a Bat Box (or two).

Sedum

Butterflies and Bees have suffered as they cannot go foraging for nectar rich flowers in heavy rain and even the flowers that they found were full of water. Bee Keepers and farmers are warning of honey shortages and reduced fruit crops. We can help them by planting nectar rich flowers in the garden such as Buddleia, Scabious, Sedum, Catmint and Lavender, if you have not got a flower border consider growing these plants amongst your vegetables or in containers and window boxes.

Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station

Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station

Why not put up a Butterfly/Bee Nectar feeding Station or a Butterfly and Moth Feeder to provide some instant food, as well as a Bee Hive or Bee Log for shelter and breeding. Have a look here for more advice on attracting butterflies to your garden.

Frogitat - Ceramic Frog and Toad House

Frogitat Ceramic Frog and Toad House

Frogs and Hedgehogs have actually benefited during the wet weather, they have had a plentiful supply of food including worms, slugs, snails and the insects that have been washed to the ground. It is worth looking after these true gardener’s friends during the winter months by putting a Frogitat or a Hogitat in a quiet, wild corner of your garden.

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

Lets hope that the change in the weather and the new position of the Gulf Stream remains throughout the summer, as we and our wildlife so desperately need some sustained sunshine.

Whilst it’s here let’s get out and enjoy it.

Gill

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Why not take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2012 on Saturday 28th or Sunday 29th January it is free and will only take up an hour of your time. It is an excellent way to get all the family involved in nature and is very rewarding too and you may well spot some unusual or new bird species. Your results are used to help the birds by identifying any species that are in trouble so that they can then be helped.

Schools can also take part by doing the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch this is from 16th to 30th January 2012 where a class or even the whole school can get involved. It is an activity that all ages and abilities can take part in and again will only take an hour. It is a brilliant way of getting to know the wildlife visiting your school grounds and also in turn thinking about how to encourage more.

Get prepared now by putting out lots of different types of bird food to encourage as many birds as you can, the more choice you provide the more species you may attract.

Seed Mixes are prepared using top quality high calorie ingredients and have been developed to appeal to, and benefit a wide variety of bird species all year round and include Everyday Seed Mix, High Energy Bird Mix, Bird Feeder Seed, Table Seed Mix, Gourmet Robin Food as well as Nyjer Seed and Sunflower Heart Seeds.

Table Seed Mix

High Fat content Bird Foods are also high in calories and include Peanut Cakes, Fat Balls and Suet Pellets with Insects and are excellent winter food.

High calorie Peanut Cakes

Live Mealworms are a natural food and relished by Robins, Blue Tits and other insect eating birds and should be provided when fresh.

Live Mealworms are loved by Blue Tits

Do not stop putting out food after the Birdwatch, as this should be done throughout the year to really help the birds.

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