Why Haith's give their bird food the toughest workout in Britain...
As the general public prepares to brave the cold and feed wild birds this coming winter, Haith's the UK's bird food specialist is working hard to simplify a complex message that poor quality, uncleaned seed can be dangerous for birds
It’s a hard message to get across to garden birders, though, as generally, an unclean bird seed mix is cheaper because it contains dust, debris and extraneous husk. These deleterious materials can damage a bird’s respiratory system or worse… (Cooper et al). Which is why there’s no place for them in a Haith’s bird diet.
It’s cheaper because it isn’t an industry standard to provide clean seed but Haith's don’t think that’s good enough for Britain’s birds, which is why they give their bird seed the toughest workout in the UK.
Haith's point out that cheap is not necessarily cheerful and birders, therefore, should pluck up courage and ask their supplier to provide evidence that seed mixes have been cleaned and screened thoroughly.
'Good suppliers of bird food will be happy to provide such evidence,' says Haith's Associate Director, Simon King. 'Our evidence is published online.'
To help broadcast their message and the lengths Haith's are going to clean seed they have created an infographic, which they invite media, garden bird enthusiasts and nature conservationists to share.
'We understand that time is tight and there are perhaps far too many press releases delivered to inboxes,' explains King, 'but we're hoping journalists and the general public will get behind our campaign and help to make this winter’s bird diets safer for birds.'
There’s a serious side to Haith's message according to scientific research as there are far more bacteria and fungi (in terms of both numbers of colonies and species of organisms) in mixes of uncleaned, dusty seed than would be expected from a properly cleaned diet.
Haith's rationale for going this extra (and much needed) mile is simple: with the UK’s wildlife in ‘crisis’ according to the State of Nature report - with ‘56% of UK species in decline’ and ‘165 species considered Critically Endangered in Great Britain’ we must only feed seed that’s been cleaned, screened and quality checked. These are the cornerstones of Haith's award winning superclean™ seed quality control process (and have been since 1937).
Please share the Healthy seed - healthy birds! infographic.
12th February 2016
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Haith’s “Help to Fly!” Nest Box Scheme set to help first-time flyers
Haith’s is inviting every garden bird enthusiast in the UK to work together this BTO National Nest Box Week (14 - 21 February). Britain’s family-owned (since 1937) bird food specialist is on a mission to get more wild birds on the property ladder in time for the breeding season as, currently, only a tiny proportion of the population put up a nest box each year. This year, Haith’s plan to change that with their bird home purchase incentive - to make nesting boxes more affordable for first-time flyers...
“We wanted to do something to change the status quo and encourage more homeowners to help at least one bird family get on the bird housing ladder. The government has help to buy, we have “Help to Fly!” as that’s our aim; to help more birds fly (healthily) this breeding season,” explains Haith’s Associate Director, Simon King.
Haith’s has selected two “Help to Fly!” nest box properties and is paying half towards the cost (excluding agency and legal fees):
The full range of “Help to Fly!” subsidised products – which includes peanuts, seed mixes, bird feeders and now nest boxes can be viewed online at http://www.haiths.com/help-to-fly/
Why put up a nest box?
The British Trust for Ornithology says: "Natural nest sites for birds such as holes in trees or old buildings are disappearing fast as gardens are 'tidied' and old houses are repaired. Taking part in National Nest Box Week gives you the chance to contribute to bird conservation whilst giving you the pleasure of observing any breeding birds that you attract to your nest box."
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY 5 JANUARY 2016
Looking for a New Year's resolution?
How about helping more birds to fly...
Tuesday 5 January 2016
That expensive gym membership may help the way the outside world sees us, but what about committing to a New Year's resolution that's good for the soul and great for nature; how about helping more birds to fly? Bird food company Haith's
is encouraging more of us to take up the hobby of bird feeding and they're contributing to the cost with their new affordable "Help to Fly
" range of seeds, feeders and foods.
There's much written about the benefits of feeding the birds; supplementary bird feeding presents a helping hand when "natural" food is scarce.
Often, this scarcity can be at times of the year when birds require nutritional enrichment such as during the breeding season when dry spells can harden the ground and make it near impossible for ground feeding birds to extract worms - leading to a protein deficiency in the diet when protein is needed for youngsters to develop healthily.
However, there's very little written about the enjoyment people who feed the birds experience in return for feeding wild birds. It's almost as if it's supposed to be a chore.
"Well, it's most certainly a routine task when done correctly," explains Simon King, Associate Director of Haith's, "however; I'd never suggest that it is a chore. Although I do accept that we all have a certain responsibility to feed wild birds because - amongst other things - their habitat has been gradually destroyed leaving their future predominantly resting on their ability to adjust from "wild" to "garden" birds."
More than half of the UK's population feed wild birds and the truth is, it's fun! It's rewarding and enthusiasts get a great deal of satisfaction from observing bird behaviour and feeding habits as species learn to live (and dine) together.
"Some days it's happy families - other days it's pistols at dawn and survival of the fittest, which in bird language often means survival of the biggest. That said I've seen one or two Robins square up to much larger species when there are mealworms on the bird table!” says Simon. "There's rarely a dull moment in a busy bird garden."
Supplementary feeding is good for the birds and it's good for we humans, too. Plus it can complement other interests; for example, many people enjoy amateur photography and the birds make great subjects; they're photogenic and a reasonably priced camera will capture their aerobatics and feeding station antics.
Haith's say that it doesn't matter how big or how small a bird garden is, all that matters is that more of us decide to feed the birds this year - to begin a wonderful new relationship with wildlife and to enjoy embarking on a New Year's resolution to engage more with nature.
"What could be more enjoyable than helping more birds to fly this New Year?" asks Simon King. "Give me a charm of Goldfinch raiding a bird feeder bursting with juicy sunflower hearts, and I'll leave the treadmill and Lycra running shorts to those who look better in motion than me. I'll keep fit by filling the feeders and watching the birds as they prepare for the breeding season. That's got to be better than Celebrity Big Brother any day of the week."
How to get started:
Visit Haith's "Help to Fly
" page as they've committed to keeping a range of seeds, feeders and foods available at special prices to encourage more people to help birds fly.
PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Haith’s to stop squirrels stealing the nation's nuts this autumn
As the nation prepares to feed the birds this autumn, garden birders can breathe a sigh of relief that Haith’s - the bird food specialist - has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to help outwit marauding squirrels and protect the nation’s peanuts.
Earlier in 2015, Haith’s conducted market research to find out what were the most common problems associated with feeding wild birds and it came as no surprise to them that, the grey squirrel was responsible for damaging bird feeders and taking more than their fair share of seeds and peanuts, which often meant birds going hungry.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Haith’s has in response put together a collection of products and strategies to help birders give greedy squirrels the cold shoulder this autumn.
Invest in a squirrel “resistant” feeder:
“If there’s one thing garden birders find worse than squirrels pilfering it’s squirrels damaging bird feeders. Squirrels do not respect the latest gizmo from the garden centre and if it’s not tough, robust and yet safe and accessible for birds you’re wasting your money, as it could be destroyed in a single squirrel’s supper sitting,” explains Simon King from Haith’s.
Squirrel-resistant bird feeders
are available in all shapes and sizes and either caged or not caged. Cages are designed to keep squirrels away from the food and yet allow small birds to slip easily between the bars to feed.
Some feeders offer squirrel-resistance without the cage – these feeders are really offering a feeder that’s resistant to squirrel damage; however, grey squirrels will be able to remove food from them by using the same feeding ports the birds use. This is a good feeder to choose when birders don’t mind feeding the occasional squirrel but do mind them destroying bird feeders.
Customising bird feeders can keep squirrels guessing:
A Bird Feeding Station
allows bird feeders to be moved into open ground – away from trees - where the squirrel has to be more tenacious and daring to take titbits.
Feeders suspended from a tree branch can be retrofitted with a Squirrel Dome
, which fits above just about any bird feeder. Its dome-shaped, durable and bite-proof polycarbonate surface is slippery and unstable to squirrels, which stops them from gaining access to a suspended bird feeder. The Squirrel Dome also keeps cats off feeders as they, too, can’t hold on to the dome.
Fitting a Squirrel Baffle
to a feeding station pole stops squirrels from launching a successful assault on the feeding station as it’s too wide and slippery for squirrels to hurdle.
For the belt and braces approach, a Squirrel Slinky
can be added to feeding poles which further prevents squirrels from ascending in reach of the nation’s premium peanuts. These simple to introduce strategies will keep the birds feeding throughout autumn.
If all else fails, switch bird food recipes:
Swop to a bird food squirrels don’t like - if you feed peanuts you are (more) likely to feed Grey Squirrels. Niger seed – for example - isn’t appreciated by squirrels and the nature of the tiny, almost weightless, seeds doesn’t suit the way a squirrel feeds.
“Niger seed shows a cold shoulder to squirrels but it’s worshipped by Goldfinches, Siskins and Long-tailed Tits. The problem is that these birds won’t just “arrive” – they are the opposite of squirrels and require cajoling. Thankfully the wooing of Niger worshippers requires just three simple things: Niger seed, a Niger feeder and a little patience,” explains Simon.
Tipping the balance:
Haith’s have invested in sourcing a range of weight triggered anti-squirrel bird feeders which aim to feed the birds and not the squirrels. In each case, bird feeder manufacturers have gone through the torment of creating a device that’s 100% capable of excluding squirrels, whilst including the birds. Generally, these innovative feeders work because part of the feeder is spring-loaded and a squirrel’s weight forces the feeding ports to close – which means the squirrels cannot feed. As soon as the squirrel jumps off the feeder, the feeding ports are re-opened, which means the birds are once again safe to feed.
Finally, if you can’t beat ‘em:
Provide Grey Squirrels with their very own feeder, and then fill it with a seed mix or peanuts. Bill Oddie takes this approach in his garden and it’s common for squirrels to show the decorum of sticking to “their” feeder – as long as it remains full of seed – and leaving the birds to consume whatever remains in the bird feeder which – by this point – now resembles a space ship.
If your squirrel is capable of finding its way past all these devices and strategies, Haith’s offer this final consolation: “Defeat is made more palatable when one remembers that the grey squirrel is indeed very much part of Britain’s wonderful wildlife, and if that doesn’t help – try remembering this: it isn’t their fault they were introduced into Britain from America because someone thought they were cute. Oops!”
Contact Email: email@example.com
01472 357 515
Company Website: http://www.haiths.com/
8 September 2015
Haith's CityFeed - New Letterbox Service for Britain's Urban Bird Gardens
Accepting delivery of large bags of bird food can be hard in cities, if there isn’t a safe place to leave a bird food parcel. The delivery driver will leave a card and try to arrange a more suitable delivery window; however, if urban garden birders are at work all day, or just out and about, this could become a problem, and that's why a growing number of city naturalists have asked Haith's, Britain's bird food specialist since 1937, if they can sell a bird food that can squeeze through a letterbox. From today, Haith's can answer that question with a resounding 'Yes! Welcome to CityFeed.'
'We have introduced CityFeed to encourage birders in built up areas (where it may not be safe to leave parcels if out) to try our new convenient CityFeed packs, which can be delivered by Royal Mail and posted through letterboxes,' explains Simon King, Haith's Associate Director.
More and more of us are feeding wildlife in built-up areas; our towns and cities are becoming exciting hotbeds of biodiversity. Unfortunately, however, urban bird feeding presents one or two different challenges to city enthusiasts.
City gardens can be small – but that doesn’t mean they’re too small to site a bird feeder. In fact one of the simplest (and most entertaining) formats for the urban birder to explore is a good quality window feeder. This is easily fixed to the window by the means of strong suction cups, which allows even the humblest of homes to play a role in caring for birds.
"Smaller sizes – order more frequently – nice and fresh bird food – conveniently posted through letterboxes at home or even at work!"
The idea behind CityFeed and the urban bird garden extends beyond the traditional garden space explains Haith's: 'If you don’t have a garden, borrow someone else’s! If the city is blessed with one thing it’s the fact that public spaces often have wildlife that can be fed when we’re away from home. The classic example is a pond where it’s often very acceptable to feed the ducks and wild geese – just check the area for feeding advice and stay clear of providing bread – instead try a Duck & Goose CityFeed Mix.'
Haith's full range of CityFeed bird foods for urban bird gardens is now available online, see: http://www.haiths.com/cityfeed/ for full details of the range.
Haith’s "Help to Fly" - Helping More Birds get on the Property Ladder this National Nest Box Week
Haith’s, Britain’s bird food specialist, has launched an incentive scheme called “Help to Fly” to encourage more of us to put up a nest box this National Nest Box Week (14th – 21st Feb.).
National Nest Box Week comes and goes each year, yet only a tiny percentage of the population take the initiative to put up a bird box and help new families raise their young. Haith's plan to change that this year by contributing 50% towards the cost of their 'Help to Fly' nest box properties, to incentivise more of us to help first-time flyers.
"The objective," says Simon King at Haith's "is to get more nest boxes out there, where birds can find them. Then we'll have more first-time flyers, more fledglings, in gardens this spring."
Haith's have selected a small range of “Help to Fly” properties and their product advisers ("Help to Fly" property agents) are briefed and ready to help birders choose the best boxes for their garden birds. The range includes:
"High-quality nest boxes are very desirable and make great homes for wild birds," explains Haith's on their wildlife blog
- "The truth is, though, that this is really a numbers game; in that the more nest boxes one sites – the more likely we'll all have lots of busy parents and fledglings to feed and watch around the same time BBC Springwatch is back on our televisions. The moral: For those who have seen the movie Field of Dreams, if you build it – they will come!"
Haith's "Help to Fly" nest box range is available online
– direct from their Factory Outlet in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, or 'phone 0800 298 7054 for more information (whilst promotional stock lasts). #HelpToFly
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Website: http://www.haiths.com/
More Details: http://www.haiths.com/press-wb/
BIRD FOOD COMPANY SOARS TOWARDS ACHIEVING 100% LANDFILL-FREE GOAL
Wednesday, 17th December 2015
Haith's has been supplying its high-quality, SuperClean bird food to wild bird feeding
enthusiasts and bird-keepers since 1937 and now faces one of its toughest, self-imposed
challenges: to be 100% landfill-free by February 2015.
Achieving a 100% landfill-free target would be a significant challenge for any business; however, the familyowned bird food company, Haith's (http://www.haiths.com/) manufactures Europe's largest range of SuperClean bird seeds and foods from a modern 40,000 square foot production plant, fondly referred to by Haith's as The Bird Food Centre, which means technicians have to sort and segment items and either up-cycle or re-cycle them daily.
Haith's up-cycle more waste than ever before: "Our waste cardboard is now shredded and re-used as packaging to reduce the amount of packaging we purchase and eliminate landfill," explains Leonard Cooper, Production Manager at The Haith's Bird Food Centre. "At December 2014," reports Leonard, "we're on target to achieve our 100% landfill-free goal, and we're currently achieving the projected figure of 12%."
“It’s a team effort,” says Leonard, “I couldn’t do it without the support of every single bird food technician and together we’re working hard to make Haith’s the facility of choice for all things bird food and beyond!"
"We’re doing this because, it’s better for Britain’s wildlife and we're serious about protecting nature and conserving the planet's resources. Our birding community wants to know that it's supporting a company that truly cares about birds and the environment. One that doesn't pay lip-service by printing a huge corporate document that’s unlikely to be read, and then not acting on it. We think action speaks louder than words. We think the environment and the birds are now safer with Haith’s," explains Chris Smith and Angela Cullen on the Haith's Stay Wild Blog (http://www.haiths.com/a-rubbish-goal-100-landfill-free-by-february-2015/).
Read the full article
BILL ODDIE & HAITH'S JOIN BIAZA'S LOVE YOUR ZOO CAMPAIGN
15th May 2014
WILDLIFE expert and TV personality, Bill Oddie has joined a campaign to help inspire kids about the natural world.
The former Springwatch presenter will be taking part in Love Your Zoo Week, a campaign launched by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), to teach people about the important role of zoos.
He said: “Good zoos play an important role in conservation. This seems to be the case for BIAZA zoos; good zoos know it’s no longer acceptable to just say “here’s some animals...come along and wonder at them. At the same time, they are raising funds for captive breeding programmes for endangered species and reintroducing them to the wild. Let’s also not forget that zoos offer people what could be their first contact with animals. Go on...love your zoo!”
Love Your Zoo Week was launched in 2011 to encourage people to visit their local BIAZA zoos, aquariums and wildlife centres and not only have a fun day out, but also learn just how much they do for conservation, education and research.
From Saturday, May 24 to Saturday, May 31, more than 70 BIAZA zoos and aquariums from across the UK and Ireland will be hosting a week of fun activities from hearts and crafts to talks on how zoos care for their animals and getting visitors to help prepare food and enrichment.
Dr Kirsten Pullen, Chief Executive Officer at BIAZA, said: “We are delighted that Bill Oddie will be supporting Love Your Zoo Week and helping us spread the word about the important role zoos play. BIAZA zoos and aquariums receive over 22 million visitors a year and this is no surprise as they are not only a fun day out but also a chance to learn about and contribute to the conservation of the natural world. Last year alone our members carried out over 1000 projects and contributed over £11 million to field conservation.
“We hope people will support the Love Your Zoo campaign by visiting their local BIAZA zoo or aquarium and discovering just how much they do.”
Haith’s & Bill Oddie’s Bird Food “Love Your Zoo” Tour will see Bill visiting Newquay Zoo, Shepreth Wildlife Park and Hobbledown.
Bill added: “In a good zoo, the care and concern and personal relationship of the keepers to their animals is a wonderful piece of human behaviour frankly, and that sets a great example to all of us. Zoo visitors see that these people care and that’s a good thing. I’ve met so many nice people who work in zoos and their passion is enormous, and that’s why more people should get involved and visit BIAZA zoos.
“Over one million people – mainly children – visit BIAZA collections on an organised educational visit each year, which to me suggests good zoos are already doing a great job of educating future curators of the planet, and that’s why I’m taking my bird food recipes team on tour to support them.”
For more information or to find out about special promotional offers on during the Love Your Zoo campaign visit www.loveyourzoo.co.uk and don’t forget to tell us about your visit on Facebook or Twitter!
Notes to the Editor:
BIAZA, British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
BIAZA is a conservation education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body representing the responsible zoo and aquarium community in the UK. With 100 members, its role is to develop and spread best practice within the UK and international zoo community, combining lobbying and campaigning with the development of policy in collaboration with the government and scientific organisations. BIAZA members support around 700 projects every year by providing financial support in excess of £10 million and by supplying skills, staff and equipment for conservation programmes worldwide.
www.biaza.org.uk charity number: 248553
10 Reasons to Love Your Zoo
1. More than 23 million people visit BIAZA’s member organisations every year – they are a great day out!
2. More than 1.3 million people come to BIAZA member organisations each year on an organised educational visit – visiting your local zoo is a fun way to learn about animals!
3. BIAZA members participate in about 600 research projects every year, many of these measuring behaviour with the aim of improving animal welfare – you are helping us learn about helping wildlife.
4. BIAZA members participate in more than 1,000 conservation projects every year.
5. They contribute about £12millon a year to field projects
6. BIAZA members contribute about £658 million to the national economy.
7. They create about 11,000 jobs (direct and indirect).
8. By visiting zoos, you are helping to safeguard the future of vulnerable, threatened and endangered species
9. You can visit more than 2,000 different species of animal!
10.By visiting your local zoo or aquarium you are doing a good thing by taking the time to appreciate our wildlife and hopefully being inspired to make a difference. 10 Reasons Why You Should Love Your (BIAZA) Zoo/Aquarium
- May 28th Shepreth Zoo - https://sheprethwildlifepark.co.uk/Html/
- May 29th Newquay Zoo - http://www.newquayzoo.org.uk/
- May 30th Hobbledown, Epsom, Surrey - http://www.hobbledown.com
Video clips of Bill Oddie available
Photo opportunities and interviews on request
Bill Oddie’s Bird Food Recipes and Haith’s
Bill Oddie’s Bird Food Recipes are available online at www.billoddiesbirdfood.co.uk and in store at Sainsbury’s and Wilko.
Haith’s bird foods can be found online at www.haiths.com
British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Direct line: 020 7449 6599
Founded in 1937, Haith’s is one of the Europe’s leading bird food brands. We sell high-quality, natural bird diets and deliver them direct to garden bird enthusiasts across the UK. Our traditional Haith’s paper sack has been on kitchen tables of generations of bird lovers. Our range is used by experts to care for rare and endangered species of birds and has earned the seal of approval from none other than Bill Oddie.
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What makes us different from other bird food companies?
• An expert helps QC our products using laboratory investigations
• We’re focused on health, welfare and conservation
• We invest in professionals entering the field of avian nutrition through our Haith’s PRO Scholarship schemes
• Our seeds are SUPERCLEAN(TM) because dust is harmful to birds’ respiratory system
• We only buy raw materials from reputable sources
• Mixes are consistent in recipe
As a business we want to make it easier for people to feed the birds and enjoy themselves too. And to help conservation by providing clean bird diets because they are better for birds. Our philosophy is simple: healthy diet, healthy bird.
We aim to put nature first. This is reflected in everything we do at The Bird Food Centre in Lincolnshire. We recycle waste materials, creating briquettes that will one-day heat part of our factory. We source more than 50% of our raw materials from British farms and some suppliers are within 30 minutes of The Bird Food Centre. We invest some of our profits into research and development at Haith’s PRO. This team is in constant communication with avian experts across the globe, in search of new ways to improve their bird diets.
For further information and supporting photography please contact:
Simon King - Public Relations
T: 01472 357 515
M: 0779 328 6412
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A Robin isn’t just for Christmas: 5 facts about Robins.
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BEAT THE SQUIRREL
“They were introduced into England early in the twentieth century, ‘cos someone thought they were cute. Oops!”
If you feed the birds, Grey Squirrels are probably the bane of your life. They will not only steal all the food, they will probably destroy expensive bird feeders
, many of which may claim to be “squirrel resistant”. Very few are!
TV Broadcaster, Bill Oddie, admits that it’s hard (but not impossible) to beat the Grey Squirrel: “A friend of mine once designed and then built a home-made bird table. He was very proud of it, especially when it was almost immediately visited by birds. Unfortunately, it was soon also invaded by Grey Squirrels. He immediately resolved to invent a deterrent.”
“He started by simply moving the table further from his hedgerow. No good. Squirrels can leap a very long way. Then he tried fixing a sort of circular baffle under the table. The squirrels fell off a few times, but soon clambered over it, and then chewed it to bits.”
“Next, he fitted a length of piping over the pole, under the table, suspended on springs. He figured that the squirrels might be able to scramble over it, but at least he’d have the satisfaction of seeing the pipe spring back and whack them on their behinds! The last I heard, the squirrels had stretched the springs so far that they didn’t spring any more. They had eaten all the bird food, and my friend decided to build a new Hi-Fi cabinet instead!”
So, are any of these squirrel resistant feeders really squirrel resistant?
“Well, I’ve tried them all,” says Bill Oddie “and so have my garden Greys! I’d say that most of them work, most of the time, but there’s no denying the squirrels ingenuity or tenacity, and you almost have to admire them for it.”
“One thing you do have to accept is that many of these contraptions look more like flying saucers, space rockets or pieces of modern sculpture than bird feeders. I can’t say they exactly blend in with the concept of an old fashioned rustic garden! But if you do have a squirrel problem, Haith’s the bird food specialist have a range of squirrel resistant feeders and you really have to try them. It’s no coincidence, by the way, that many of the most successful squirrel resistant designs come from America, which is of course where Grey Squirrels actually belong (they were introduced into England early in the twentieth century, ‘cos someone thought they were cute. Oops!)
Haith’s – the bird food specialist – have a high-quality range of squirrel resistant bird feeders and SUPERCLEAN™ bird foods online at www.haiths.com
For further information, interviews with Bill Oddie and photographs please contact:
Simon King, Haith’s Public Relations, Tel: 01472 357 515 Mobile: 0779 328 6412 Email: email@example.com
• Changing to feeding seed mixes (instead of peanuts) can reduce a Grey Squirrels interest in a bird feeder.
• Niger seed (the Goldfinch magnet) fed from a Niger seed feeder has no appeal to squirrels.
• Haith’s stock Droll Yankee bird feeders which have a life time squirrel damage guarantee.
Haith’s website: www.haiths.com
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“Leave the loaf at home – not at the duck pond, please.” – Bill Oddie
Feeding the birds at the duck pond is much the same as feeding the birds in your garden. Ask yourself: what do these birds eat in the wild?
One of the most frequently asked questions Bill Oddie hears whilst out on Hampstead Heath is, “I often take my little girl to feed the ducks. We throw in pieces of bread. They seem to love it but is it bad for them?” Fortunately, whilst filming Ask Bill Oddie, the right moment to answer this question presented itself and Bill’s answer is plain and simple: “leave the loaf at home – not at the duck pond, please.” However, Bill recognises that feeding the ducks is a great way to introduce children to nature.
“Well, for a start it won’t be just the ducks that go for the bread: Swans, Canada Geese, probably Coot and – most squabbly and screechy of all – Black Headed Gulls. All that flapping and quacking and honking can be a little bit alarming for a small child, but most of them get to love it and it’s a great way to start some basic birdwatching.”
“As for is bread bad for them? The answer is that it won’t do them any good. Scoffing too much of it can be harmful, especially white bread. Bread and water. Starvation rations for humans and certainly not a treat for birds. Brown bread is a bit less useless, especially if it has seeds on it, but it still isn’t nutritious to a duck or a goose no matter how eager they are to grab it.”
“Feeding the birds at the duck pond is much the same as feeding the birds in your garden. Ask yourself: what do these birds eat in the wild? What is their natural food? Insects, worms, caterpillars, seeds, berries, aquatic plants. That’s what they need. The real thing. If they can’t find enough, then we can help enormously by providing equivalents, substitutes, and supplements, but the ingredients must be natural. Bird food specialists like Haith’s - www.haiths.com the bird food masterchefs, if you will – can sometimes even improve on nature with special mixes, dried mealworms
and blends, but nothing is artificial or faked, and everything provides birds with good health and energy. Food for survival.”
Have fun at the park, but leave the bread in the bread bin is Bill Oddie’s message.
• For helpful and informative advice visit www.billoddiesbirdfood.co.uk
• Bill’s YouTube channel answers FAQs http://www.youtube/billoddiesbirdfood
• Join Bill’s ‘summer bird feeding is cool’ - www.billoddiesbirdfood.co.uk
• Order duck food direct from www.haiths.com
• Website: www.billoddiesbirdfood.co.uk
• YouTube: http://www.youtube/billoddiesbirdfood
• Blog: www.billoddiesbirdfood.wordpress.com
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/#!/billsbirdfood @billsbirdfood
• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Billsbirdfood
For further information, interviews with Bill Oddie and photographs please contact:
Tel: 01472 357 515
Mobile: 0779 328 6412
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