Monthly Archives: December 2009

Water for Birds in Winter

Water for birds in winter is important and can easily be forgotten about

A lot of birds need to drink fresh water at least a couple of times a day.

We take water for granted as all we have to do is turn on a tap. No so for wildlife they are at the mercy of the elements – and we can help them survive

When frost and snow appear their water disappears.

I have put together Readers Tips for giving birds water in winter

1.  Put a plastic liner in the water bowl before you put the water in.  When the water freezes all you have to do is pull the liner off.  No more scraping out an ice filled water dish.

2.  Buy a heated dog water bowl.  This keeps the water unfrozen all the time. 

3. Try and keep an area of a pond unfrozen.  this is hard, but if a piece of wood or a ball is kept in the water it can sometimes be taken out and a small amount of water is showing.

4.  Keep defrosting the water all during the day when it is really cold ( Impossible I know, but you know what I mean)

One water dish I sometimes use has a smooth base so I put some stones in for the birds to perch on.

Water for birds in winter

Water for birds in winter

Shallow dish with stones in for birds to perch on

Shallow dish with stones in for birds to perch on

Please let me know if you have any tips for keeping water fresh and unfrozen for our garden birds.
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THE 300 MILLION YEAR WAR

I have just found out that there has been a  war on Earth that has been going on for 300 million years.  Amazing

If you have time to watch the videos below I think you will find them really interesting. 

Don’t  be put off by the title  or by the front of the video – just take a look and find out what this 300 million year war is all about

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-royal-institution-christmas-lectures

There are five.  If you don’t have time to watch them all I would suggest you watch the last one.

Let me know what you think?

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Hope you all had a Happy Christmas

I hope everyone had a Happy Christmas. 

I had a really nice time, inbetween putting bird food and fresh water  out 

I’m very popular with many, many sparrows, starling, bluetits and other tits, robins, rooks, blackbirds, thrushes.  A robin has been spending ages on the bird table pecking away.  It’s a wonder nothing has chased it away.

Night is drawing in. I have just brought all the bird feeders in.  At least they will be dry and ready for the morning

The other day I saw quite a few sparrows queing up and trying to get into a nest box to roost.  I just could not see them all getting in.  I hope they did – it really is freezing here.

Cherio for now

Feeding Birds at Christmas and in Winter

In winter birds use a lot of energy searching for food as  natural bird food is scarce.  Putting food out does help birds survive.

Putting any left over Christmas food out is a good idea. 

Here is a list of food you can feed to birds

YOU CAN FEED

  • Mild Cheese – grated or just crumbled and broken
  • The fat from the cooking can be used. I soak bread in water and then soak this bread in the melted fat before putting it out for birds.  The fat can also be used to mix with bird food.  This way there is double energy – bird food and fat in one meal. 
  • Any left over cakes and buns
  • Chopped up apples.
  • Dried food that has been soaked. 
  • Left over roast potatoes. 
  • Christmas Cake and Christmas pudding.  These are a really good food for birds. 
  • Unsalted nuts – and we have a lot of those at Christmas

Here is a list of food you should not feed to birds

YOU SHOULD NOT FEED

  • Stuffing
  • Chocolate
  • Cooked vegetables
  • crisps
  • salted nuts
  • cooked meat

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First thing in a morning birds are hungry
After surviving a cold night birds need energy to keep them going through the day. For this reason putting bird food out first thing in a morning is probably the best time

Bird Feeding on Christmas Morning

The snow is still here.  It is still freezing cold and not thawing yet.

The blackbirds are the bravest, or most starving birds, as they stay close by as I put the bird food out.

One blackbird was sat on the fence at eye level with me.  I walked up to.  It stayed still until I got very close to it then it hopped a branch away.  If I had stretched out my hand I could have touched it.  It seemed to be looking me in the eye for part of the time.   

Thinking of wildlife on Christmas Day seems a good thing to do really. 

The sun is shining through and the snow looks deceptively lovely.  I’m glad there is blue sky shining through today and that the blizzards and snow seems to have stopped.

The pond where a lot of wild birds gather is still frozen.  I see a variety of birds walking on the ice looking for water.  For some reason they look funny.

 I’ve put an upturned black dustbin lid there filled with water and sparrows, blackbirds plus others I can’t make out are using this water – so that is a good job done.

I filled three feeders up this morning and already one is empty!  These wild birds certainly bring life to this corner of my garden. 

They make me turn out on a morning.  I see them frantically pecking at empty feeders and hear blackbirds singing / shouting. 

 Got to go now.  It’s present time.

 May the spirit of Christmas stay in our hearts and souls all year round. Merry Christmas!!