Bird photos

Birds in Earley

Preparing for the Winter

What can you do to help the birds who visit your garden to get through the coming months. In 2005 the RSPB issued a Seven Point Plan that will help you help the birds in your garden through the winter. The plan was issued by the RSPB public affairs department and has been reproduced here.

1. Introduce a bird table and high-energy seed mixes. You can also use the table to put out kitchen scraps such as grated cheese and soaked dried fruit.

2. Put out hanging feeders for black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes or unsalted peanuts. (EEG note: Please do not put out whole peanuts except in peanut feeders as large peanut pieces can be harmful to small birds).

3. Ensure a supply of fresh water every day. If it is very cold use tepid water but do not add anything to the water to prevent it from freezing.

4. Food bars or fat hung up or rubbed into the bark of trees will help the more shy garden visitors, such as treecreepers, wrens, and goldcrests.

5. Put up nest boxes to provide roost sites for the smaller birds. They might then be used for breeding later in the year.

6. Plant berry-bearing plants in your garden, such as hawthorn, holly, cotoneaster and berberis to help birds in the coming years.

7. Make sure you keep your feeders and bird tables clean - using small amounts of mild disinfectant or specialized cleaner and warm water.

Source: RSPB Public Affairs Department
4 January 2005

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