Thursday, 1 March 2018

Balloon Birds

The awful weather we are currently experiencing has produced a garden full of enormously inflated and very hungry birds.

Anyone who has read this blog for any time will be aware that I am passionate about feeding birds.  All year long, and in bad weather almost continuously.

This is a very rewarding but also very expensive habit (I won't call it a hobby, it is much more than that) but there is a lot anyone can do without breaking the bank.

The colder it gets, the harder it is for their little engines to operate and thousands of birds die every winter from cold and hunger.

Their first defence is to puff out their feathers so they resemble little footballs.  Some of them tolerate any number of other species in order to have a share of whatever food is available.  Some sadly have few survival skills and need our help to get through the worst patches.

When I have filled all the bird-feeders and thrown out other odds and ends the next step is to search cupboards and fridges to see how to add to the feathery food bank.

In winter I always keep packets of shredded suet (I don't bake), and the largest cheapest packs of mixed dried fruit the supermarkets can provide.

Yesterday when the snow was really heavy I found a huge chunk of cheddar cheese cut it into small blocks and am feeding these (grated), a small handful at a time.

Whenever I eat an apple I leave at least a third of it which is also thrown out for the birdy banquet.

The bird-bath is frozen solid and will stay that way for a week or two,  but I pour a jug of lukewarm water on top of it a couple of times a day which stays liquid for a short time.

In the great scheme of things these are very small aids but may help some of our feathered companions to survive this bitter cold.

Please help if you can.


  1. Dear Ray, thank you for your suggestions and for all your do for birds. I do nothing and so this posting has me resolving to change. I will, thanks to you. I think I have some birdseed--old--in the garage and an old bird feeder. I'll get it ready and outside today. Peace.

  2. Wow Dee. If I had known I would have such a positive reaction I'd have written this post earlier on in the season.
    Seriously, if just a tiny handful of people in a wide spread of areas would remember to feed the birds in bad weather conditions it would make a huge difference to the falling numbers of some species.
    Nearly everyone appreciates bird-song and the stronger they are the more they will sing.
    Have just seen a great spotted woodpecker on my peanut feeder. A lovely sight.

    1. Dear Ray, I'm feeding them! And their song lifts my heart each winter morning. Peace.

  3. Bless you Dee. Have had my second cataract operation so am not seeing well enough to blog just yet. Will do so soon.