As the weather starts to cool down, RSPB Cymru are urging people to feed the birds and this weekend sees the launch of Feed the Birds Day, on Saturday 29 October.
As the clocks go back and green leaves turn to golden brown, the extra food, water and shelter we provide for birds and other garden wildlife could make the difference between life and death.
RSPB Cymru suggests calorie rich foods like mixed seed, nyjer seed and peanuts. Kitchen scraps are also good too - mild grated cheese, cooked rice and pasta, unsalted bacon and cooked potatoes will give birds the energy they need during the winter months.
A supply of water is also essential for bathing and preening. Birds need to keep their feathers in top condition to ensure they insulate effectively and a dip in a clean bird bath is just what they need.
Garden plants are important too and a few inexpensive wildlife friendly plants such as honeysuckle or bushes rich in fruit like rowan and hawthorn will provide extra food and shelter.
Quick bird cake recipe:
- Melt or soften some suet or lard in a pan
- Mix in some or all of the following; seeds, nuts, dried fruits, finely chopped bacon rind
- Place in a container with some string threaded through so that half the string is inside the container and half outside (for example a plastic cup)
- Leave the mixture to cool
- Once hardened, hang up container by the string
RSPB Cymru and volunteers will be holding several Feed the Birds Day events this weekend with activities such as bird cake making and nest box building. Here are a few around Wales:
National Slate Museum Padarn Country Park on 27 - 28 October. Family activities and fundraising.
Denbigh Plum Festival on Saturday 29 October; RSPB stand at the event offering advice.
RSPB Glaslyn Osprey Site near Porthmadog will be holding daily family activities between 14 - 30 October.
Fron Goch Garden Centre, Caernarfon Feed the Birds Day on Saturday 29 October at. Advice and information about how to feed your garden birds and how to attract them to your garden.
Portmeirion - Feed the Birds Day / Woodland Feast on Tuesday 25 October and Wednesday 26 October from 11am - 3.30pm. Join RSPB staff for a fun day in the woodland and make bird feeders, enjoy a woodland walk, learn about woodlands and watch the birds on the feeders at the screen. Cost: Entrance fee to Portmeirion, check the website for discount offers.
South WalesMargam Park on Tuesday 25 October RSPB West Glamorgan Local Group will be running activities encouraging the public to use binoculars to look at wildlife.
Blooms Garden Centre in Cardiff on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October RSPB Cymru staff will be at on hand to give talks at 11am and 1pm on both days about how to attract birds to your garden, feeding garden birds, what flowers birds like etc.
Mid WalesForestry Commission Wales Bwlch Nant yr Arian site near Ponterwyd - Saturday 29 October from 11am - 2pm. What's on my feeder event where children can learn to identify the birds they see on feeders and what they like to eat, make bird feeders, a talk on feeding the red kites at 2.30pm and watch the red kites get fed at 3pm. Cost: free (car park charges £1.50 apply). Age group: Families
RSPB Lake Vyrnwy on Saturday 29 October join RSPB Cymru staff and volunteers to make feeders and bird cake 1pm - 3pm. Cost: children non-members £2.50, WEX and Phoenix members £1.50, special offer if you join the RSPB on the day, the event is free for the whole party