Sign up for our Free email Newsletter
and get all the latest wildlife news!
Choose:

Browse Old Articles


BROCHURE RACK

Salt in bird baths and leftovers could kill garden birds

24/02/2010 11:36:52
birds/2010 jan/rspb_birdbath

Juvenile blackbird in birdbath. Ray Kennedy (rspb-images.com)

Salty food potentially lethal to birds
February 2010. A pinch of salt might make many of our favourite dishes that bit tastier, but it could kill some garden birds. The RSPB is urging people not to use salt as a de-icer in bird baths, as temperatures are set to plummet below freezing again.

The RSPB suggests placing a small floating item, such as a twig or a cork, into bird baths when they are first filled. This will keep the water moving, preventing it freezing solid. Alternatively, filling it with tepid water each morning will prevent it freezing for as long as possible.

Salt is toxic to gardens birds
Salt is toxic to gardens birds. Their bodies are unable to process it, and it affects their nervous systems. Birds become very thirsty and dehydrated when they ingest salt, meaning they would drink more, potentially exacerbating the problem. They would also suffer kidney dysfunction. Some small birds are not much bigger than one of our own kidneys, which we use to process salt, and they will overdose very quickly.

Salty water bad for bird feathers
Although most dangerous when ingested, salty water is not good for birds externally either. It could damage their feathers, meaning they are not in peak condition during the cold weather and into the breeding season. Even if they don't drink it, they could still ingest it as they preen.

No chemicals
The RSPB doesn't recommend any chemicals for unfreezing bird baths, and de-icers must also never be used. Birds may be drinking water from salty puddles as iced-over paths and roads that have been treated start to melt, so fresh water that we provide could also help reduce any harmful effects from that.

Crisps, salted nuts and salty kitchen scraps - bad
The charity also asks that we avoid feeding salty kitchen scraps to birds. Salted crisps and peanuts, processed cheese and leftover frozen meals are all likely to contain levels of salt dangerous to birds. Even if these items are soaked, they would likely still contain dangerous levels of salt.

Good leftovers
More suitable leftovers include grated mild cheese, porridge oats, coked rice, unsalted bacon, cooked potatoes and pastry.

Richard James, RSPB Wildlife Adviser says: "It's understandable that people think salt is a suitable way of keeping bird baths unfrozen, as we see it sprinkled over roads and paths all the time. But it is an extremely dangerous to garden birds, and must be avoided at all costs. Making sure bird baths don't freeze over can be difficult in cold weather and unfortunately it's a case of checking it and refilling it as often as possible. You could try putting a small floating item like a twig or even a ping pong ball in the water or filling it with slightly warm water which would prolong the freezing. Thankfully here in the UK we love our garden birds and many people will do all they can to make sure they have a supply of water at all times. It may fill us with dread but dipping into a cold bath is important for garden birds at this time of year, for both drinking and keeping feathers in good condition."

For more information on feeding garden birds in winter click here.  

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

site de rencontre gratuit

levels of salt dangerous to birds. Even if these items are soaked, they would likely still contain dangerous levels of salt.

Posted by: robinjack | 27 Apr 2016 11:52:05

Healthcare Management

Checking any blog may make others just want to come up with a greater number of. I did a fabulous which i was first lovely content by means of. The software most likely conducted for the tier still it’s exceptional

Posted by: robinjack | 25 Apr 2016 12:31:06

tchatche

hly) understand why this is a benefit. From the explanation, I'm guessing these changes do not affect single proc

Posted by: jasmin12 | 24 Apr 2016 15:27:24

virtual ceo

It ended up being Very useful to me and I am certain to every one of the pundits here!

Posted by: jasmin12 | 23 Apr 2016 18:56:45

paralegal services

Hesami Legal Services founded by Mr. Alireza Hesami who is a licensed Paralegal. He is currently studying law at the University of London International program to have a better understanding of his current legal expertise.

Posted by: jasmin12 | 22 Apr 2016 10:01:49

making clubflyers

I really enjoy reading all of your simply weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you ' Have people like me WHO appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you ' Have provided is very helpful.

Posted by: Carolineharry | 20 Apr 2016 18:42:12

tchatche

B shootdown, so 'the rest of us' can (roughly) understand why this is a benefit. From the explanation, I'm guessing these changes do not affect single processor systems, but are an improvement in SMP support (?).

Posted by: jasmin12 | 18 Apr 2016 16:26:05

tchatche

t only a magnifying device, but also offers audio trough OCR technology. Text does not

Posted by: jasmin12 | 14 Apr 2016 19:22:44

EDDM Printing

We almost killed each other but still. However, it's quite short and doesn't have much replay value. Bundling a level editor or something would have been smart. Thanks

Posted by: Carolineharry | 12 Apr 2016 11:07:02

paralegal services

We provide Legal Services for the clients of Toronto, Brampton, Richmond Hill, New Market, Markham Ajax, Pickering, Aurora, Barrie, Georgina and Oshawa approximately within 75 kilometres from our main office.

Posted by: jasmin12 | 11 Apr 2016 18:55:52

lebanon escortQcvMH

e were required to run is very memory hungry (well it can trade runtime for memory but in a competition where you have 44 hours to complete as many data sets as possible...) we would have had to scale GAMESS out to get the memory it needed like some of our competitors GAMESS-UK using DDI DOES NOT SCALE WELL AT ALL ACROSS THE NETWORK further reducing performance.

Posted by: jasmin12 | 03 Apr 2016 20:06:55

escorts lebanon

important for garden birds at this time of year, for both drinking and keeping feathers in good condition."

Posted by: jasmin12 | 28 Mar 2016 19:39:44

Dresses Online

We believe that every fine rug tells a story and manifests a tradition; it is an investment for generations to come and selecting one should be a tailored fulfilling experience. Our family works closely with our clients and suppliers to ensure that every selection leads to satisfaction for decades. -

Posted by: jasmin12 | 24 Mar 2016 22:39:06

rug store

Blue Paisley Fine Rugs is Toronto’s newest premier provider of luxurious high quality rugs offering the widest selection in size, colour and services. We believe that every fine rug tells a story and manifests a tradition; it is an investment for generations to come and selecting one should be a tailored fulfilling experience. Our family works closely with our clients and suppliers to ensure that every selection leads to satisfaction for decades.

Posted by: jasmin12 | 12 Mar 2016 19:25:29

escort in beirut

ike hey, I’m not done, I’m ready to come up. It was weird because I didn’t know what I was doing, I just felt that I need to do this about this person.”

Posted by: jasmin12 | 17 Feb 2016 16:28:24

Varied thrushes bathing (delousing) in salt water

On 12-27-11 I took photographs of a flock of varied thrushes energetically "bathing" (delousing, I suppose) in the salt waters of Puget Sound.

I live in an over-water fishing cabin located at the foot of a high clay bank. The morning tide on 12-27-11 was an annual high of nearly 13 feet, with water reaching high up the clay banks.

As it receded, the water calmed, the sun came out, and a strip of sand about 3 feet wide was exposed at the bottom of the cliff. It was then that the flock of varied thrushes hopped/flew down the cliff to the sand and into the water, where they splashed merrily, making the motions used by bathing birds.

Is this an unusual sighting?

Posted by: joan Rutherford | 29 Dec 2011 01:32:47

To post a comment you must be logged in.
CLICK HERE TO LOG IN AND POST A COMMENT

New user? Register here

 

Click join and we will email you with your password. You can then sign on and join the discussions right away.