Haith's are set to help counters feed more birds safely for less with their new "Help to Fly" range of discounted bird foods and bird feeders.
Citizen science takes flight each year with the Big Garden Birdwatch. The data created is instrumental in helping scientists understand rising and falling bird population trends and - for we amateur naturalists - it's interesting to compare our garden tally to other areas of the UK.
Giving nature a home all year round should be our main objective. The Big Garden Birdwatch is the diary event that triggers the counting activity; however, the general picture for the UK's wildlife is known well in advance as much of the UK's wildlife is sadly in decline.
Internationally, the picture is more alarming: "Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years," says WWF (World Wildlife Fund). In just forty years between 1970 and 2010 the global Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures trends in thousands of vertebrate species, has declined by 52%. The ZSL and World Wildlife Fund’s LPI report state that: “Habitat loss and degradation, and exploitation through hunting and fishing (intentionally for food or sport, or accidentally, for example as by-catch) are the primary causes of decline.”
Our gardens have become the last bastion upon which we uphold and defend nature against its neglect. Slightly dramatic? Not if one considers that the humble House Sparrow population has declined by an estimated 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008 (source: RSPB/BTO).
To us, it's a garden, to birds it's nirvana. And with a little thought and extra bird gardening effort, we can create the ideal condition for rest, harmony and (ultimately) stability...but we are sadly still a long way away from that.
So what can be done, today?
Focus on providing three main things: food, shelter and fresh water.
Bird food: The first thing to note is that Haith's can help you to feed more birds for less and that their objective is to help you to help more birds to fly. It might be the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch but shopping around to save money on bird food isn't a crime [learn more]
Nest boxes: For a good deal less than £10 shelter can be provided in just about any bird garden. Don't site the nest box in a south-facing position and don't site it near a feeding station [learn more]
Freshwater: Bird baths are lifesavers. No doubt about it. With one caveat, they need to have water in them! It's amazing how many bird baths are empty and yet it costs nothing to keep it topped up daily [learn more]
If you're taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch click here to save money on Haith's "Help to Fly" range of seeds and foods.
Resources for Big Garden Birdwatchers:
A to Z bird guide
Haith's Stay Wild blog
Order a catalogue