Why Feed Wild Birds?


 

While our wild garden birds should be able to fend for themselves without our help, evidence shows that they’re not managing to. The RSPB have identified a ‘serious, countrywide, decline in the numbers of many birds’, which comes mainly from a lack of suitable food sources and breeding sites. That makes it important to feed wild birds, to give them a helping hand.

On a national level, modern farming practices are the most likely culprit. Changes to global climate patterns are also having a big effect. But change always has to start somewhere and, by making our outdoor spaces more wildlife friendly, we can all do our bit to help.

bird drinking water on hot summer day

Feed wild birds – it’s an easy and rewarding first step, so whether you’ve got space for a window feeder or a whole host of feeding stations, why not start now?

  • Make your garden into a diverse bird friendly habitat. Plant shrubs, lawn and trees and, if you can, provide a small pond. This encourages insects, which in turn bring birds into your garden.
  • Encourage birds to nest. Put up nest boxes for species such as sparrows, starlings, tits and wagtails. All these species suffer from a lack of nest holes because of our modern highly maintained buildings and our insistence on ‘cleaning up’ dead and dying trees.
  • Provide suitable high quality food that appeals to a range of seed and insect eaters, not just a cheap grain mix suitable for doves, crows, pigeon and rodents. You don’t have to put a lot of food out; just try and make sure you are consistent.

Filling feeders in the morning is best because the birds have all day to work away at the food. Ideally they should have cleaned up completely by evening so there is nothing left to attract rodents overnight.

Just put out what you feel you can afford to. When they clean up, they will go off wild foraging, just as they would if you did not feed them. However, your morning offering is a welcome, nutritious and easy breakfast to set them up for the day.

Support birds with a little of each of these and you are certain to be rewarded with a glorious dawn chorus, as well as a beautiful garden for you to enjoy as well.

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Quick guide to choosing the best Wood Fuel for your stove and lifestyle.

Wood Fuel Co-operative
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*Break - We strongly recommend you break these briquettes in half (or less for very small stoves) because they do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to overfill the fire.
*Easy to light - We always use a Firelighter and Kindling Sticks to start our fires. Most briquettes are graded four stars to light because they are quite dense and require kindling.

Notes:

  • All stove and flue combinations tend to have different burning characteristics. Fuel that works well in my stove may not work so well in your stove, and vice-versa.
  • Most modern stoves are more efficient than most older stoves, meaning a modern quality stove will burn fuel more economically and generate more heat over a longer period.
  • Always try to burn fuel with a 'lick of flame'. Smouldering fuel to try to extend burn time is bad for your stove, flue and the environment due to unburned particulate matter in the smoke.
  • Be prepared to break briquettes into smaller sections to fit into your stove comfortably. Many briquettes do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to expand onto the glass.
  • The chart above indicates which briquettes are easy to break. Some are small enough so they don't need breaking. This makes for a cleaner environment around your stove.
  • All briquettes, except Everyday Value and Hotmax, benefit hugely from using kindling to light them. I suggest five kindling sticks will be sufficient, meaning a net should last 30 days.

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