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It’s snow joke for birds

Created on 16/12/2010 @ 12:46


With news that more dire weather is on the way, RSPB Cymru is sending out a message to residents in the Welshpool area to help their feathered friends.
The charity reports that wild birds face an earlier than usual test in finding enough of the right kind of foods to give them energy and warmth, meaning the food and water residents supply could ensure their survival.
Dana Thomas from RSPB Cymru says: “With harsh wintry weather conditions heading our way this week the wild birds in our gardens will need a little TLC.  The insects, berries and seeds garden birds usually feast on will become off limits thanks to frost and snow, so taking the time to provide some nutritious food and water for them is essential to their survival.
“It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The chilly conditions may also mean that a flurry of rare birds we don’t often see until later on in winter will appear earlier as they use our gardens as a safe haven.”
During cold snaps, such as the one expected, birds become more vulnerable and are more likely to come into gardens to seek refuge. When temperatures drop below freezing, birds struggle to find the natural food they need to stay alive and rely on help.
To encourage their survival, residents should provide food like meal worms, fat-balls, crushed peanuts, dried fruit, seeds and grain to compensate for birds’ natural food which is covered in snow and ice and impossible to get to. Leftovers like grated cheese, porridge oats, soft fruit, unsalted bacon, cooked rice, pasta and the insides of cooked potatoes are also a good source of energy for garden birds, and water for both drinking and bathing is vital.
Mywelshpool has teamed up with RSPB Cymru to provide readers with a wild bird winter survival plan that will help wildlife during the harshest weather:
1. Put out feed regularly, especially in severe weather.  Set up a bird table and use high calorie seed mixes. This can also be used to put out kitchen scraps such as grated cheese, pastry and porridge oats.
2. Put out hanging feeders for black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes or unsalted peanuts.
3. Ensure a supply of fresh water every day. If it is very cold use tepid water but DO NOT use any antifreeze products.
4. Put out fruit, such as apples and pears, for blackbirds, song thrushes and other members of the thrush family.
5. Food bars or fat hung up or rubbed into the bark of trees is a great help for treecreepers, goldcrests and many other species.
6. Put up nest boxes to provide roost sites for the smaller birds. They will then be used for breeding later in the year.
More information about helping garden wildlife is available at


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