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Wild Bunch Column – Caring for our garden birds

Hi this is Jill from the Wild Bunch with our latest column.

Winter is a challenging time of year for wildlife. Wet and cold weather conditions and the scarcity of food can put a strain on wild creatures. About 50 species of birds in the UK fly to warmer climates, but those that stay need to build up their fat supplies ahead of winter, which is why you may have noticed your bird feeders emptying more quickly. This year birds are particularly vulnerable due to the rise in cases of avian flu. 

We can help our garden birds survive these challenges by making sure there is a good supply of food and water, so keeping the feeders topped up regularly will help them build up their strength to stay strong and healthy. But it is also important to keep feeding areas clean. According to the RSPB the danger of disease increases when a lot of birds are attracted to a feeding area. It is important to regularly clean the feeders and the area around them. 

They recommend that we empty feeders of unwanted food and bin it, wearing protective gloves, do not reuse or compost. Wash the feeders with hot soapy water, taking them apart where possible to scrub and clean out any old food. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and take them outside to dry completely. Then spray them with animal safe disinfectant, rinse thoroughly and allow them to dry again outside before refilling. The same process can be used to clean bird tables and bird baths.

With plenty of food provided in hygienic feeders and trays our garden birds will stand a better chance of surviving the bird flu epidemic and the harshest of winters to bring us more joy throughout the year.  Visit the RSPB website for more information.

Join the Wild Bunch to find out what you can do to support our wild neighbours, simply visit the Wild Bunch page.  

10 November 2022
Last Updated
3 November 2022
Published in