With the cold weather, we have been experiencing and snow on the ground our wildlife often uses our garden for refuge. Providing food, shelter, and water for them can help to get them through the winter months.
As mentioned in a previous blog, tailoring the right food to the bird that visits your garden can attract more. Finches such as Goldfinch love nyjer seeds, sunflower hearts are less messy and a great alternative to mixed seeds and peanuts are readily available and great for all species. Providing water in a dish or small pond when other water sources are frozen is important for both birds and mammals.
Having shelter to hide from predators, hedges, trees, and bushes can hold many species of birds and mammals like Rabbit and Hedgehog. Sparrowhawks are a constant threat to our garden birds, so having bird feeders close to a shelter gives them security.
Imagine if there was a way that you could take part in a citizen science project to help our bird population from your sofa! There is! The last weekend of January every year the RSPB (royal society for the protection of birds) encourage us to take part in their big garden bird watch, for important data that will help them to figure how to help our garden species that are in decline. You can find out from their website how to take part,
Here are some things to know and tips.
Take part: From your kitchen window, in your garden, or your balcony
What you need: pen, paper, bird food, guide to garden birds (optional)
- Choose one hour to watch over your outdoor space with pen and paper in hand.
- Over the hour count the total highest number of each bird species that LAND in your garden
For example, if four Blue Tits land, fly away, then two return, count the four as your highest total number of that species
- No matter how tempting, only count birds that land in your garden or near your outdoor space, not a Crow or Buzzard flying overhead.
- If you cannot identify a species, ask a friend, use a bird guide or use the RSPB bird finder
- At the end of your hour log your results online here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/
Remember to add any species not included on their sheet, even if you do not see anything, it is still important data!
- You can also include any mammals that visit such as Red Squirrel.
Head over to our Facebook page where we will be taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend as see what our guides are doing and encourage you to take part with us.