Monday, November 10, 2008

Feed the Birds

While much of this blog is about tackling big issues like global warming and unsustainable use of resources, it is important and satisfying to consider your very local environment as well. And at this time of the year, one of the best contributions you can make is to feed the birds. This is a bit more complicated than I first expected, but I've taken these tips from the RSPB website:

1. Don't use cheap plastic mesh bags of nuts - they damage birds' feet.

2. During the breeding season don't put out whole peanuts unless they are in wire mesh holders - baby birds can choke on the large nuts.

3. There are different qualities of birdseed - the better mixtures contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules. Wheat and barley grains are often included in seed mixtures, but they are really only suitable for pigeons, doves and pheasants. Avoid seed mixtures that have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils as again only the large species can eat them dry.

We've two seed feeders and one mesh nut holder (pictured). This was raided by a squirrel, which we found amusing until we found it had rolled up the wire on the far side and spilt the lot. I've now nailed it down.

The really lovely thing about this is how much our 21 month old son loves watching the birds, in fact when we were on holiday, he loved finding them in a bird book - OK so he could only get the Robin, but you gotta start somewhere.

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