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Thurles
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real feel: 18°C
wind speed: 4 m/s SE
sunrise: 6:25 am
sunset: 8:42 pm
 

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What Benefits Birds Can Benefit Humans

What benefits birds, also benefits humans, as those of our readers here in Thurles and Co Tipperary, who supplemented their garden’s birds’ diet, during the recent unprecedented harsh weather, can attest. By feeding the birds in your area, there is an automatically important knock-on effect for the flower lover and organic gardener, as birds will quickly get used to searching for food in your garden and will simultaneously search for pests such as greenfly, caterpillars and snails, all the year round.

By the way this video was captured on the new Flip Video Camera. Latter fits into the palm of your hand, easily fits in your jeans pocket while letting you record high quality HD footage with the greatest of ease. The rectangular shaped camera is the size of a standard mobile phone and can captures 2 hours of HD video at a time, so is ideal for the local football match, the confirmation or the children’s birthday party. On the Flip Video camera front is a zoom lens and microphone, while the back contains a 1.5 inch viewing screen, plus four directional arrows, a delete and a play button. A USB plug flips out from its side allowing you to connect it directly to a computer or laptop USB port, without the hassle of attaching messy cables, thus allowing you to play your captured content immediately without rendering. As you can see from this video, this tiny camera delivers a remarkably high quality picture on a device that any unskilled individual can use. I find it especially good in situations like observing nature, as with the aid of a tripod, it allows me to get up close and personal without being intrusive. (This extraordinary HD Video Camera is also very affordable, at around €170 .)

After the glut of each years Summer and Autumn fruits have passed and when insects are diminishing, winter is most certainly the correct time to feed our local bird population, but when should we stop?

With regard to this question, there are possibly two schools of thought. Some says you should stop gradually, once winter is over and more natural foods become available. Other state that stopping suddenly increases stress to birds, when they are already under pressure both defending territories and building their nests. There is possibly some truth in both schools of thinking, but it is true that allowing blue tits to feed their very their young babies on peanuts is likely to cause their deaths, as very young Blue Tits can’t digest the nuts fed by their parents. You could however, switch to other foods during the period, perhaps hanging up a meat bone, left over from your main meal, which offers to the birds a high protein food. There will  be plenty of natural food available in your garden in Summer, with greenfly, caterpillars and snails, of all sizes, in much abundance.

The different species of our birds life have different feeding habits. Hanging food is ideal for sparrows and members of the Tit family, using a peanut or seed dispenser as shown in this video attached.

Always site your hanging feeder high enough from the ground so that cats can’t get at it. Another good idea is to put it near to rose bushes or other shrubs where you may be having trouble with greenfly or caterpillars and birds will find them too. Do not leave the food too exposed, as the birds may be in danger from other predators. It is best to provide cover for your bird table under trees or close to large hedges and do not site the food area near nest boxes, as this busy noisy atmosphere is inclined to put inhabitants off nesting. Bird tables are suited to all types of bird and have the benefit of being off the ground so other foraging animals like mice and rats can’t gain access.

If you are planning the purchase of a bird table or a nut feeder, do beware that some, while visually attractive, are manufactured for value added purposes to attract sales, but are actually harmful and certainly not practical. An example of this is bird seed glued in the shape of bungie jumpers or on ropes, which fall apart on getting wet and end up on the ground, encouraging rodents.

Many birds like Wagtails do prefer to eat on the ground, so do put a little food on the lawn, well away from shrubs and low walls which can give cover to domestic cats. Don’t put too much food out at once, as if it is not all consumed by nightfall, your rodent population will be attracted.

Fresh water should also be  provided on the bird table, preferably in a shallow container like a small cereal bowl, so birds can drink and bath without being in danger of drowning.

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