|Starling in a nest box, photo by A. Kogut|
|A bird corner at a school yard, photo by K. Fura|
|Robin in a bird bath, photo by B. Fraś|
|Feeding with an apple, photo by I. Strzebońska|
We all need a safe and reliable source of food, and it's the same for birds, too!
Feeding is a simple and cost-effective way of helping your garden birds. It really helps out when tired adults are raising chicks and surviving cold, hard winters.
It's also a great way of seeing close-up the fascinating behaviour, amusing antics and individual characters of the birds in your garden and local area.
Control your pets! Cats are big killers of birds and their chicks, so bear this in mind when installing bird boxes and feeders. Keep your cats away from bird nests!
Birds can become tangled in plastic bags, string and other garbage – resulting in injury, death or easy predation. Birds will also eat small pieces of plastic thinking they are food, causing starvation and other big problems. Pieces of garbage can be built into birds’ nests and end up killing hatched chicks. So clean up litter in your area!
Put stickers or strips of colour or hang decorations on your windows to prevent birds from flying into your windows. You can even buy bird feeders that stick to windows!
|Sparrows preying on a communal lawn,|
photo by M. Radziszewski
Swifts are in trouble because of the destruction of nest sites they've used for years. With modern building techniques, house repairs, renovations and even demolitions removing the old cracks and crevices swifts use, they have nowhere left to go.
As swifts return to the same nesting site year after year, fitting a swift nestbox high on your house wall the best thing you can do to help these long-distance migrants.
Make small holes (50 mm high and 200 mm wide, under your garage or barn roof eaves or leave a window or door open), and a make a shelf or platform in the corner for Swallows to get in and nest in the dark. Swallows can enter a building through a very small hole and need very little light.
If you live in southern Europe and southern Africa, plant lots of native flower species to encourage bees and butterflies!
Planting hedges that help species such as Dunnock and Robin make a nest can help Cuckoos because they are host species. Honeysuckle, nettles, sallow are all good for caterpillars including some hairy ones, which Cuckoo love.
Stork return to the same nest year after year. If you are lucky enough to have a nest on your house, make sure to clean the nest of plastic and string after they have left in Autumn and before they return in Spring. Collect litter from the surrounding area so they do no use it in their nests.