Cold out isn't it!!!

We're getting a flurry of queries from all over the UK about how best to help our feathered friends in these harsh conditions so here are few more tips on what you can do to help them out!

  • Feed little and often - the cold and damp conditions can mean food gets frozen or feeders get clogged, check them regularly and give them a clean when you can.
  • Top up your bird bath - birds need to drink even in the snow so if your birdbath is frozen, try this, empty it and cover the inside with a tough plastic sheet that extends over the edges. Fill it up with water and put a ping pong ball in to move the surface around to prevent freezing during the day. It may freeze overnight but in the morning you won't have to break the ice as you can just pull it out using the plastic sheet. Replace and refill the next day.
  • Raid your pantry - if you are snowed in then you may still be able to help your feathered friends by putting out some food they may be hidden away in your kitchen. Cooked rice, porridge oats, mild grated cheese, dried raisins and sultanas, apples, pears, pastry, mixed nuts (unsalted!) and lard (make yoru own fatballs!) are all good for birds.
  • Frozen park lakes - many wildfowl have no choice but to sit the bad weather out on the ice. If you want to help them try offering some green veg leaves, fruit, cook potato and special duck pellets. Your local lake may also have herons and egrets, they may appreciate you taking a trip to the fishmonger for some fresh fish treats - I think sprats are usually available and can be slid out on the ice.
  • Things not to do! Don't feed anything with high salt levels, dessicated coconut or chocolate, don't put any food out in mesh bags and the only thing going into a bird bath should be water!

Hope you can all find time to get out and enjoy the snow, fingers crossed we can all do our bit to help make it that bit easier for our wildlife! Keep an eye out for these chaps on your travels!