- Birds look to garden feeders as natural food supplies run low
- Learn which kitchen scraps and leftovers can be tasty treats for birds
- Watching the nature on our doorsteps has been reducing stress
Over the events of the past 18 months, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing. Interest in garden birds and other wildlife has soared, with the number of people using the RSPB’s online bird identification tool shooting up by 95% in 2020.
Taking the time to watch which feathered friends make use of your bird table or window feeder, can often help to reduce stress and restore calm. Not only does it benefit humans, but with over 60% of the UK population regularly feeding their garden birds, research suggests that this helps around 196 million birds a year.
According to the RSPB, keeping your feeders and water trays topped up is important at this time of year to help your garden birds survive through the winter as natural food sources run low. Providing high-energy food will help your local birds build up the fat reserves they need to keep warm, and as a result your garden could soon become a hive of activity.
What’s more, for those without a garden, window feeders can prove just as popular with your feathered friends. Check out the RSPB’s handy guide to making a recycled window feeder from objects found around your home here.
Thankfully, if your bird feed supplies are running low, your cupboards can hold the answer to attracting our feathered friends to your garden. According to the RSPB, fruits like apples and pears, even when they’re past their best, can be snapped up by blackbirds and thrushes, while grated mild cheese can be a fantastic source of energy and protein for a range of birds. Cooked pastry, defrosted peas or unsalted bacon leftovers are also great options, as well as cooked rice, pasta and the inside of potatoes providing a great energy source.
With a range of options to help tempt your local birds into your garden, the RSPB is urging people across the country to stock up their feeders and ensure fresh water is available as winter brings the toughest and coldest months for birds.
The charity, who have been monitoring trends in garden bird numbers for over 40 years, are on hand to provide top tips on how to attract wildlife to your garden as part of their popular Big Garden Birdwatch survey.
To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, which runs from Friday 28th January to Sunday 30th January 2022, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or text BIRD to 70030 for your FREE guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch and RSPB shop voucher.