Make The Effort – Feed The Birds

With the current snow and cold weather being experienced across Tipperary and further afield, life has become extremely hard for our feathered friends. Do remember that most of last years berries, which had fruited on our trees and shrubs, are now depleted having been already consumed.

Video Music composed by  Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus

This currently exceptional cold weather has brought large numbers of the more uncommon of our bird species, both foreign and native, down into our garden space in search of shelter and feed, thus joining our more frequently observed and resident varieties of Tits, Chaffinches and Robins etc. in further competition for grub.

All local supermarkets and garden centres, like O’Driscolls, [Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Tel: (0504) 21636], are selling wild bird food, e.g. seed, peanuts, suet balls etc. for small cost. This food can the dispensed in handy wire or plastic feeders suspended from tree branches or placed on bird tables.  With snow covering hopefully coming to an end, do cut an apple or two in half and spear them on tree branches or simply leave them in an area that will not get covered over. This type of food is particularly acceptable to Blackbirds and Thrushes, who have problems hanging out of wire or plastic feeders.

Other foods acceptable on bird tables or large window sills are:- Cooked and chopped bacon rinds, Oatmeal, Cheese (Latter if you want to attract Robins), Suet, Cooked potato, Cooked chips, Raisins, wet Brown bread, Melon seeds, and Stale cake.

Keep in mind that fat is a major source of energy for birds and melted fat from your frying pan or roasting tin when poured over bread or cake scraps, will be greatly acceptable.

Try to avoid giving them completely dry white bread and never feed them with uncooked rice or desiccated (dried) coconut, which will most likely end up swelling their stomachs.

IMPORTANT: Right now fresh water supplies will be frozen over and inaccessible to our feathered friends, so do leave out an alternative unfrozen water sources, such as a water filled soup bowl or saucer, remembering with low temperatures this also will freeze over and will require to be changed regularly.

Once attracted to your home and garden, these feathered creatures will give adults and children enormous pleasure, while also aiding to remove some of those nasty little gardening pests, one can expect to encounter in the months ahead.


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