Caring for Wild Birds
When summer begins and the garden has started bursting into life, it’s easy to assume that birds are well-equipped enough to take care of themselves. However, birds could do with our help in every season, and summer is no exception.
As their needs change, we explore what we can do to help in this summer bird care guide.
Coping with warm weather
A little warm weather is always pleasant, but extreme, hot temperatures can lead to food shortages amongst birds, meaning we should still be leaving food out to supplement their diet. We’d recommend a high protein seed mix as this will attract a variety of birds to your garden and form part of a balanced diet.
At this time, birds are still looking after chicks too. Chicks will need to eat caterpillars and insects, so it’s important that food can be sourced elsewhere for adult birds, in order to free up this precious resource.
In warm weather, it’s easier for unpleasant bacteria to spread, so it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene to help look after your garden birds. Clean feeders thoroughly and regularly. This will help to prevent the spread of aviary diseases. It’s also essential to provide water for both drinking and bathing.
Ensure you provide a bird bath or water dish for birds; it’s essential to the health of their skin and feathers. Also, be mindful that water is quick to evaporate in this season, so check your water sources morning and night to ensure they’re both clean and deep enough to bathe in.
A bird-friendly garden
Tempting though it may be to give your garden a massive summer transformation, be mindful that this is home to your garden birds too! Avoid completely cutting back hedges and bushy foliage. These places may be potential hotspots for birds to build their nests next season, and without adequate cover they could be at risk.
Also avoid cutting back undergrowth as this is where birds will often shelter from predatory birds or cats. To help birds stay safe, introduce a feeding dish too. This will allow birds to feed quickly and exit swiftly, and many will feel too nervous about hanging around on a feeder which requires extra effort to eat from!