According to statement released by the National History Museum this week, we are losing green spaces, animals and plants to deforestation, exploitation, urbanisation and global warming. The report went on to say that we can all make a difference one of which is to care for the wildlife that visit our gardens. Putting up a bird box or a bee hotel, feeding birds and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals will all go a long way to protecting our wildlife. And that is just why the Grumpy Gardener is keen to find ways to help protect garden birds.
The RSPB has reported a gradual decline in British birds over the past few decades. There are a number of reasons why we are seeing fewer birds in our gardens. The highest decline is amongst farmland birds with the greatest threat being a lose of natural habitats due to changes in agricultural practices.
Farming has accounted for the greatest lose of birds due to the removal of hedgerows, increased use of pesticides and fertilisers as well as continuous cultivation of the land from one season into the next. This increased efficiency in farming has resulted in a loss of habitat diversity that many birds need to thrive.
We have also changed how we garden with many homeowners replacing natural lawns and hedges with artificial lawn, decking and gravel. The result is less land for birds to nest and less access to food.
With population growth and related consequences there are steps we can all take to reduce the decline in wild bird numbers.
Provide birds with good quality bird food. High calorie, protein-rich fat balls are one of the best sources of food and are available to buy in different blends of ingredients. Look out for fat balls with added sunflower seeds, mixed seeds and beef tallow. Cheap varieties of fat balls available from supermarkets are low in calories and essential fats. Instead they are filled with fillers such as wheat powder.
Peanut butter is a new concept in bird feeding. It is a highly nutritious food for garden birds, but they shouldn’t be fed the peanut butter sold for human consumption due to the salt content. The Nut Pecker 330g peanut butter food jars offers the perfect way to present it to wild birds. Providing a diversity of foods including seed mixers and worms will attract different wild birds to your garden.
There are a range of different types of bird feeders available on the market. A bird feeding station has different types of feeders attached so you can provide birds nuts, fat balls, seeds, worms and water. A restaurant with an extensive menu just for birds!
It is particularly important to ensure birds have a fresh supply of water to drink and bathe, even during the winter months.
Sadly all efforts to feed birds can result in the unwelcome visit of rats and squirrels. Putting out foods that result in little ground mess and spillages, such as peanuts, single seed feeders and peanut butter jars, will reduce the risk. You can also take steps to prevent food build-up on the ground and invest in rat-proof bird feeders. Cleanliness around the feeding area, where you place your feeding station (away from walls, dark areas, holes in fences) and how you store your bird food are all important steps to prevent unwelcome visitors.
Birds need to be provided with a place to shelter and a source of fresh water. Gardens with nectar-rich plants, berry shrubs and fruit trees help attract insects and other food sources for birds.
Other ways the RSPB advice us to help birds is to buy organic foods as this type of farming is working towards restoring the biodiversity of the soil. Avoid fruit and vegetables sprayed with fertilisers and insecticides as these chemicals reduce the number of insects available for birds to eat.
Environmental changes and the threat of urbanisation are just some of the reasons that inspired The Grumpy Gardener to help home owners find solutions to feeding and caring for wild birds. Visit GreanBase website to see the Grumpy Gardener range of bird feeders and bird food.
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