Friday, 23 October 2009

Feed The Birds Day

(Click on image to find out how and what to feed birds)

The 24th-25th October is 'Feed the Birds Days' here in the UK. Feed the birds day aims to remind us of all we can do to help out birds and our garden wildlife. The winter of 2008 was one of the coldest winters in many years. This has forced birds into our gardens in search of food for survival.

With climate change many birds are migrating late or failing to migrate at all and sadly, natural habitats are at threat. Birds and wildlife need our help more than ever.

Top five tips on helping birds this winter

There are so many things you can do in your garden to provide food for all wildlife. And Autumn is a great time to plant something great for wildlife. Over the winter, there are other things we can do. The RSPB have created this top five for us.

  • Plant native plants such as hawthorn, ivy and honeysuckle that will provide berries in the winter for adult birds, and insects for young birds in spring
  • Make a log pile – it will be the ideal place for insects, fungi, mosses and lichens
  • Provide an insect home – insects will spend the winter in these
  • Install nesting boxes for birds such as house sparrows, winter hibernation places for hedgehogs, and roosting boxes for bats
  • Create a water feature such as a pond or bog garden - much wildlife relies on a regular supply of freshwater
(Click on image to find out how to build this wildlife stack)

Autumn Birds by John Clare
The wild duck startles like a sudden thought,
And heron slow as if it might be caught.
The flopping crows on weary wings go by
And grey beard jackdaws noising as they fly.
The crowds of starnels whizz and hurry by,
And darken like a clod the evening sky.
The larks like thunder rise and suthy round,
Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground.
The wild swan hurries hight and noises loud
With white neck peering to the evening clowd.
The weary rooks to distant woods are gone.
With lengths of tail the magpie winnows on
To neighbouring tree, and leaves the distant crow
While small birds nestle in the edge below.


Natural Moments said...

The northern birds arrived in huge numbers to the yard yesterday. The feeders are up and the vibration of the property has risen. The birds love the pond and the waterfall. They take baths often and shake off the stress that can take its toll in a days time.

Tammie Lee said...

I wonder if we have a Bird Day. My friends who are birders would know. I have begun feeding my birds. I hope it is not too early, as the bears are not asleep yet.... The birds sure are happy!

Caio Fernandes said...

this is so cool !!!
here we dont have this kind of fall and winter ... we take care in diferent ways ... but this is great ....
i loved the pictures too !!!

T said...

A recent survey here has shown that our bird populations have decreased by 60% over the last ten years or so.....Drought, fire, climate change, all adding to the decrease.....


The Scrybe said...

Hey there, have you been watching Autumn Watch? If so, wasn't the Starling amazing!

Jasmine said...

Natural Moments - Sounds like you have created a haven. I miss the presence of birds where I live. Oddly enough when I lived in London I became very aware of birds. There were so many. Living next to Richmond Park and Kew Gardens we had flocks of wild Paraqueets, Nightingales, Song Thrushes, Woodpeckers, Herons, Storks... So much that you wouldn't expect in a city like London.

Tammie, will try the garlic and honey thing, we use honey lemon & ginger here with a clove of garlic too if we feel really bad. Are bears a danger to birds? I've not really thought about that before :)

Caio - I was naughty, the pictures are from the RSPB website but if you click on them it will take you to the page I borrowed them from and the RSPB pages have so much more information. I only wish I had a camera that could capture birds well.

T - That is so scary. I don't know the figures here but I think we have had a drastic decrease too.

Scrybe - No, I've been good tonight and not watched any TV at all. I watch far too much. Will maybe see it on catch-up. I love starlings. When I went to Stonehenge for summer solstice we were surrounded by starlings, watching us. The druids told us that they are blessed by different animals or birds each year...

ArtSparker said...

My borther in law has just introduced me to Vaughn Williams' "The Lark Ascending", with a description of lying in a meadow and looking up at a hovering, sining lark.

Andy Coffey said...


I like the idea of planting things to help keep the birds over winter. We have many plants (certainly many non native species, that, from your post, apparently are native to Britain. Like Honeysuckle, and Enlgish Ivy. Tons of both in my yard.) which are native to Indiana, but the birds dearly love. Sumac, and other flowering and fruiting plants. It's funny how, as a child, I regarded all these berries and other fruits as deadly poison: some of them are to people. But most of them are harmless: unless you are starving.
Great post.

Jasmine said...

Susan - I just looked that up, a violin piece based on George Meredith's Skylark. I couldn't find the entire poem but did stumble across Will o the Wisp. So beautiful. I think I'll keep looking and listen to the violin piece in the morning. Thanks :)

Andy - I'm a real fan of planting native species as much as I can but often the herbs I love are from Europe and I grow them anyway. But yes the birds and bees love them as do butterflies. Our Natural History Museum's website as a great feature where you enter your post code (zip code)and it populates a list of all the native species plants, trees, bushes and shrubs and sometimes the wildlife too.

Lizz said...

Wow, what a nice place you have here! Thanks for finding me so I could find you.


martine frampton said...

We have a cat, plus loads of other cats who frequent our garden so I do not encourage birds to stop around for long. I hope the ones who visit find enough in the way of insects and snails in the ramshackle mess that is our plot.
thanks for sharing

The Scrybe said...

Oh wow, I've never been to stonehenge, that must have been such a good experience! My sister watched the catch up and they missed out the Starling. It had been taught to speak (dull human words). It was amazing. Also I should mention the Hedgehogs, they need feeding too, it's nearly hibernation time. We have one in our garden nibbling away at dog food and biscuits right now! I love autumn!

Assayya said...

today was an article about making a wildlife stuck in our newspaper.
my love will build one
we have so many birds around our stables in winter:))

Tammie Lee said...

Hi Jasmine,
I don't think that bears are a danger to birds. It is more that the bird feeders attract bears to our homes. We are not suppose to make food easy for bears to get. We are suppose to help them to stay wild and safe. Thanks for asking.

joanne May said...

Hi Jasmine,
Thank you for your visit. I have been meaning to visit you too, when I saw your beautiful blue scarves!:)
I love your work and I enjoyed this post...
See you again soon.:)

lettuce said...

well i finally managed to find time to refill our bird feeders yesterday - but I'd not realised it was National Bird feeding something.

I started putting out niger seed a couple of years ago and have hoards of goldfinches now - they're so delightful!

and what with the sparrows and starlings, bluetits, pigeons, occasional woodpecker - its hard to keep up with demand.


yvette said...

kis and away...flu too....
(too down to write a long promised long mail)


Crafty Green Poet said...

all very good advice, I'm going to start carrying bird food with me whenver I go for a walk....

Karin Bartimole said...

love that wildlife stack - both functionally, and sculpturally! thanks for sharing the info - i'm going to save it and share it :) our water feature freezes over, so we keep a heated bird bath all winter long, as well as full feeders. we planted large dense holly bushes near the feeders and the birds like to cluster together deep inside, well protected they, hang out there especially on those windy winter days... we also hung a bat house earlier this year, hoping it will house some bats this year, instead of using our attic which usually ends up with bedroom visits!