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Garden birds flocking to filled-up feeders

03/02/2009 13:03:46

Starlings in snow by Adrian Thomas.

Many birds wouldn't survive this weather without our help

January 2009. Garden birds are eating even more seed put out by sympathetic gardeners than ever in the freezing weather - showing just how important our supplementary feeding is. Some gardeners are filling up feeders more than five times a day because hungry birds need to keep their energy intake high during the freezing temperatures.

The RSPB is appealing to people to spare a thought for birds as it continues to snow. Putting out extra food, keeping bird tables clean of snow and regularly changing water supplies are all essential for many garden birds' survival during snowy weather.

Unable to feed
Birds are unable to penetrate the ground to find worms and insects with thick snow cover, and berry-bearing shrubs and other natural food sources are practically invisible. Food on bird tables and in feeders is a real lifeline in these kind of conditions and can literally keep them alive.

Gardener Dianne Rogers, 60, says: "Yesterday alone I filled up my hanging feeder five times but there was no way I could have watched my sparrows and blue tits fly desperately towards it only to find it empty. It felt really good to watch them feasting on what I'd put out and I'll definitely do the same for the next few days too."

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