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Month: March 2018

6 Crafty Ways To Help Your Garden Birds This Winter

With the snow and icy temperatures predicted to last well into March, our garden birds are really going to need feeding up to survive, as well as to prepare for nesting time.

Creating things for your garden birds can also be a brilliant time to teach children how to care for garden wildlife and to recognise different birds and animals. This can lead a child to a lifelong love for wildlife and also a future career choice so it’s well worth taking the time to explain and show children the wonders of a British garden or park.

Helping the birds needn’t be expensive or time consuming but it can be creative and a lot of fun. Here are 6 crafty ways you can help your garden birds this winter:

 

Fat Bird Cakes –

Make an easy hanging fat cake bird feeder. This activity by Catherine from the Growing Family blog shows you how to make a seed cake mix that you mould into a yoghurt pot then peel out to create a hanging feeder. This sort of a feeder is brilliant for Blackbirds, Robins, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Starlings, House Sparrows, Long Tailed Tits and Blackcaps. On our bird feeders we have noticed that any fat balls or cakes are beacons for flocks of Long Tailed Tits and Blue Tits so if you have seen any of these birds in your garden then fat balls are perfect to make and put out. Growing Family – Homemade Bird Fat Cake Feeders 

Bottle Bird Feeder –

This idea comes from the RSPB and shows you how to recycle a plastic bottle and make it into a feeder to hold loose bird seed. This sort of feeder is perfect for many types of birds and you can easily make a new one as the old one gets grubby or broken. Remember not to put whole nuts in the feeder as baby or weaker birds can choke on these. Birds attracted to this sort of feeder will depend on the type of seed you put out so experiment with different seed mixes to find the one that goes down best in your garden. RSPB – Making Bird Feeders

Apple Bird Feeder –

Apples are a great food source to birds like blackbirds and thrushes and can either be cut into quarters and left on the top of a bird table or you can make this ingenious apple bird feeder from the RSPB. RSPB – Make an apple bird feeder

Birdbath Making –

Birdbaths are important for two reasons and both will attract birds to your garden. One is that birds need clean fresh water to drink so a well-kept and regularly cleaned (without chemicals, just with a hose and a scrubbing brush) water source is a valuable resource to them. The other reason is to allow birds to clean their feathers and keep them in good shape for flying. By having your birdbath slightly off the floor it will mean the birds are less vulnerable to predators on the ground. Place your bird bath somewhere sheltered and not out in an open part of your garden, this will mean there is less chance of a Sparrowhawk swooping in and grabbing a bird. This is a very easy and quick birdbath idea from the children’s part of the Wildlife Trusts – Wildlife Watch. 

Nesting Boxes –

Make your birds a safe nesting box ready for when Spring actually decides to finally appear! Decide which birds you would like to tailor it for by making the correct size bird hole from the measurements given on this brilliant practical poster by Wildlife Watch. 

Make a Wild Area –

Make your garden as natural as you possibly can by avoiding weed killers or slug/snail pellets as these can kill both hedgehogs and birds. Plant bushes and small trees that have berries in Winter or early Spring for birds to eat and leave an area to grow wild so that insects have somewhere safe to live. The increase in butterflies, bees and other insects will mean more birds will also visit your garden. This lovely poster is again from Wildlife Watch.

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