Please do feed the birds
12th January 2010
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As I sit here in my warm office looking out the window, I can see a pair of collared doves on our bird table. And I feel smug in the knowledge that I remembered to put out some fresh seed this morning. They don't seem to like the fat balls but you can't have everything.

It's important at this time of year, especially during snow when their regular food supplies are covered up, to put extra and appropriate food out for wild birds. And don't forget the water - they need fresh - unfrozen - water each day. Whether you have a large garden or a balcony, or even just a window box, there's always something you can do.

The RSPB issue simple suggestions which I've repeated below, or for more detailed information go direct to their website.

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 animal fats, grated cheese 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


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Ben Jackson is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.

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