Friday 16 August 2013

Bird feeding safety tips.

Living in the rural countryside we get to enjoy Mother Nature at her best.  We are very lucky where we live that we get to appreciate the wildlife of the countryside all around us, being able to enjoy the beauty of the countryside and see all the amazing creatures and animals that also call this area home.

I love living in the rural countryside especially as this lovely area has such an array of wild creatures for Bug to see and learn about.  With wild birds flourishing in the beautiful countryside surroundings of our home wild birds have become one of Bug’s favourite wild creatures to look for on our countryside adventures.

As Bug loves seeing wild birds, enjoying mimicking them as they fly in the sky I want to teach Bug about the different varieties of birds and encourage his love and appreciation of our wild winged friends.  When we go on country walks we look out for any wild birds and I tell Bug about the birds as we observe our wonderful winged friends.  We watch birds soar in the sky, admire them flitting along peacefully, listen to bird sounds and watch small woodland birds dart and scamper along trees and shrubs. 

As well as teach Bug about birds whilst on country walks I am encouraging his interest in wild birds by getting him to help me feed the local birds in bird feeders in our garden.  Having bird feeders in our garden gives Bug an ideal opportunity to see and learn about birds when they visit our garden to feel.  Not only am I teaching him about the birds that visit our garden to feed, I am also hoping that as he helps feed birds in our garden he will develop an understanding of how to feed safely so that we can keep our feathered friends safe when they visit our garden to feed.

"Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?" - David Attenborough

My top tips for feeding birds safely and successfully are –

*  Ensure food is available.
It is best to feed all-year round with no gaps, feeding on a daily basis.  It is important that once you start feeding birds you do so consistently on a daily basis as birds become quickly accustomed to feeding in one place and if the come to feed and there is no food they waste valuable energy looking for other food.

*  Position feeders away from predators.
Birds are most at risk from predators when feeding and position of food impacts greatly on how safe birds are when feeding. 

Cats kill a staggering amount of birds each year which has a negative impact on bird populations with common bird species numbers on the decline.  If you have a cat or know a cat from a neighbouring house comes into your garden it is important to position feeders from shrubs, fences, sheds and other areas where cats can hide and wait to pounce on unsuspecting birds. 

*  Safeguard bird feed from other creatures.
Squirrels are known to invade bird feeders, taking the food and damaging the feeders whilst scaring off birds in the process.  Consider getting bird feeders that are designed to help safeguard bird feed from other creatures.  Squirrel resistant bird feeders such as the ones found on the Garden Health website prevent squirrels from taking bird feed and the stainless steel designs are durable, withstand squirrel attacks.

*  Keep feeders clean.
Clean feeds regularly and keep them hygienic to reduce the risk of illness and disease, feeders that are not kept clean and hygienic are a risk to birds as they can cause disease and illness which can kill birds.

*  Store food safely.
Store all bird food in a sealed container in a cool dry place to prevent mould growth on food and prevent seeds sprouting which would make them not suitable for use to feed birds.

*  Reduce bird-window collisions.
Window strikes is a large cause of death in birds, whilst thankfully many collisions are not fatal and birds are only disorientated the number of fatal collisions is still high so it is vital to reduce the risk of window collisions when birds visit your garden to feed. 

Move bird feeders closer to your windows to within 3 feet, at this distance birds will not be able to gather enough momentum to hurt themselves if they fly into the glass.

Window decals placed on windows can reduce the number of window strikes.

*  Consider what bird feed and feeders you use.
Have different bird feeders and a variety of different bird feed for different bird species.  The BBC website has an interesting article about How to help wildlife that is a great resource about what birds prefer types of bird feed and Vine House Farm has a brilliant article about the significanceof different feeders.  Garden Health have a great variety of different bird feeders to suit all your bird feeding needs.

*  Provide water.
As well as providing bird feed especially in dry months provide fresh water for birds to drink and bathe in.

By creating a safe, clean, friendly and welcoming environment for wild birds in your garden you can feel happy knowing that birds can feed safely in your bird friendly garden.  Sit back and enjoy some peaceful bird watching as an array of wild birds start visiting your garden daily.


 "Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious." 
David Attenborough.  

* Sponsored post written by myself *

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