bird bath water

How to protect birds and wildlife in your garden

Birds and other wildlife that we find throughout everyday life are fascinating and beautiful. Without them, our ecosystem would struggle to maintain its health. Therefore, it is crucial that we are aware of what we can do to protect them.

From supplying high-quality food – to providing a warm and cosy shelter, here are five things you can do to keep birds and other wildlife safe.

Supply fresh water

You may be surprised to know that most people forget to put out water for the birds that visit their outdoor space. Although providing food is essential, which we will later discuss, water is just as important. Not only does it give the birds a chance to hydrate, but it also gives them a place where they can bathe their feathers.

bird bath water

Often, the winter can be harsh on birds, and their feathers can get clogged up with dirt, dust and debris. Providing a birdbath can be an ideal solution. Look for some DIY birdbath inspiration online to help you get started. As for drinking water, you should always ensure that you are providing a fresh supply. Dirty water can often harvest a lot of bacteria which can eventually make birds ill and lethargic.

Use bird seed

When it comes to feeding the birds in your garden, it is essential that you are aware of the foods to avoid. For example, caffeine, onion, and garlic are just some foods that can make birds very ill. It is important that you always do your research to help you brush up on your bird feeding knowledge. Ideally, you want to provide foods like seeds, nuts and mealworms. You can buy seed mixes online from an online bird food store like Little Peckers. They have a vast range of high-quality birdseed that you can choose from. The best part? It can be delivered straight to your door.

bird feeder

Some seed mixes will be more suitable for different species of birds. Therefore, it is vital that you take time to analyse the wildlife that visits your garden. For example, if goldfinches regularly visit your garden, you may want to consider putting out Nyjer seeds as they are a firm favourite.

Provide shelter

Unfortunately, most wildlife is at risk of being hunted by predators. Therefore, shelter is often a necessity. Not only does it provide birds and other wildlife with a place to seek safety, but it can also help them keep warm during the winter months and harsh weather conditions. Nest boxes are often a popular choice. You can purchase them online – or down at your local garden centre. However, you can also make them with the help of an online tutorial.

bird box

Ideally, you will place a nest box up high – where it cannot be reached. Birds can often fall victim to predators like cats. By placing the nest box high up, you are keeping them out of harm’s way. You can learn more about how to provide birds shelter through various online resources.

Offer protection from pests

As briefly mentioned, birds can be threatened by numerous predators. Cats and other birds of prey can wait on the weak. However, there are some things that you can do to help keep them safe. For example, avoid throwing seeds and other bird food onto the ground. This will encourage the birds to go out into the open, where they become exposed to predators.

If you are using bird feeders, try to put a bit more thought into where you will place them. Placing feeders close to windows can be dangerous. If a bird was to flee from a predator and head straight to the feeder, they could run into the window and injure themselves. Avoid putting them too close to the ground as other predators like cats can easily hunt the birds that use them.

Signs that a bird is unwell/injured

Often, birds can become unwell or injured. It can help to educate yourself on the signs so that you can help them get better. If you notice that the birds that visit your garden look lethargic and their general appearance is slightly worn, this could be a tell-tale sign that they are sick. Weakness and a loss of appetite are also among the most common symptoms. It is advised that you conduct some more research to find out more about the signs of illness to increase your awareness. There are plenty of knowledgeable resources out there that can help you.

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If you do suspect the birds in your garden are ill or injured, start by cleaning out any feeders and birdbaths that you may have. Often, they can carry a lot of bacteria which can make the birds sick. Wash them out with warm, soapy water and refill them with fresh water/food. Avoid using any chemicals on the feeders or birdbaths, which could also infect them. With the help of these tips above, you will be well on your way to protecting the birds and wildlife that enter your garden. We must all do what we can to help contribute to a healthy ecosystem.

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