Reasons to Feed Garden Birds
Monday, 16th March 2015
Birds need a good diet to look their best.
You never know what might turn up: To me one of the best things about feeding the birds is that you never quite know what you are going to see. It could be a species new to you or a real rarity – in which case be prepared for ranks of twitchers peering over the fence! – or it could be a dramatic moment of action , like a Sparrowhawk zooming after a Great Tit, or two male Robins scrapping over a desirable nest site. Ornithologists have made many discoveries from watching the behaviour of garden birds.
Feathered friends: As well as the surprises, there are the “regulars”. The individuals you get to know – “your Robin”, “your Blackbird”- and if they nest in your garden you will witness and share all the joys and perils of bringing up a feathered family. I’m willing to bet you think of them as “your children” too!
History and mystery: Some people have been surveying their garden birds for years, many of them sending their counts to the RSPB. Over the years, they have recorded many changes: for example, fewer Song Thrushes and Spotted Flycatchers, but more Collared Doves and Blackcaps. If the winter is harsh, there will be sightings of birds more normally seen in the countryside – Redwings, Fieldfares, even Woodcocks, and earlier this year flocks of dazzling Waxwings from Scandinavia. The message here is don’t just glance out now and again, make your surveys frequent and regular.
Written by Bill Oddie