Time to invest in a bird bath? RSPB urges Britons to leave fresh water in their gardens to help birds stay cool during UK heatwave
- RSPB says garden birds are hiding during summer months
- This allows them to grow new feathers, which requires a lot of energy.
- He advises leaving a small amount of food in bird feeders and cool water in your yard to help birds stay cool and hydrated.
A heat wave is currently suffocating the UK, with scorching temperatures expected to meet or exceed heat and health alert thresholds for at least the next three days.
Many Britons have struggled with the heat, and now the RSPB has warned that it is not only humans who are suffering, but birds as well.
The association is urging Britons to consider leaving fresh water in their gardens to help birds stay cool during the heatwave.
RSPB urges Britons to consider leaving fresh water in their gardens to help birds stay cool during heatwave
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Long tailed tit
In a blog post on its website, the RSPB explained that during the summer months, many garden birds hide for protection.
“The number one reason birds are less visible in the summer is because they grow a new set of feathers, which can be very draining and make flight more difficult,” he said.
“This means that for a few weeks they are much more vulnerable to predators and territorial birds. To stay safe, they keep quiet as much as possible and hide.
Birds also don’t need to rely so much on bird feeders in late summer, thanks to an increase in readily available summer grains, berries and fruits.
However, if you want to attract birds to your garden again, the RSPB advises you to keep some food in your feeders.
“Keeping some food in your feeders during the summer will remind your regulars that you are always open for business and provide a welcome source of food for passing birds,” he advised.
“When the summer wears off and food sources start to dwindle, the birds will remember where your feeders are and fly back, bringing your garden to life.
If you want to attract birds to your garden again, the RSPB advises you to keep some food in your feeders.
“Just make sure the food stays fresh so that it doesn’t start to rot or become a carrier of disease. To minimize food waste, try putting in just a small amount of food at a time and changing it frequently.
Meanwhile, the charity suggests garden owners add water to help the birds stay hydrated and clean their feathers.
He added: “Try leaving piles of leaves or setting up insect hotels to encourage insect life, planting some greenery like rowan or holly which will produce berries in the colder months, or to put water so that they have something to drink and to clean their feathers with it. ‘
The RSPB RECOMMENDS NOT TO HELP ANIMATED CHICKS “UNLESS THEY ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER”
Although the RSPB recommends not to interfere with the chicks, the charity has said there are circumstances under which the British should come to the aid of the birds.
If the bird is on a busy road or path, the RSPB advises picking up the bird and moving it a short distance to a safe place, such as a dense bush.
This must be within hearing range of the place where it was found. British birds have a weak sense of smell and will not abandon their young if touched.
If a cat or dog is spotted watching a baby bird, it is advisable to keep your pet indoors for a few days – or at least around dawn and dusk.
Those who find an injured baby bird should report it to the RSPB. They can be reached on 0300 1234 999.
Swifts found on the ground need help
If a baby bird is discovered on the ground without feathers or covered with down, then it is a baby bird that probably fell from its nest before it was ready.
These young can sometimes be returned to their nests, but the RSPB says you should only try this if you are 100% sure you have found your home and it is safe to do so.
It is also important to remember that sometimes adult birds eject their chicks if they sense an underlying health problem or if it is dying.
If you find a fallen swift, it should be placed in a shoebox and kept away from noise and other disturbances. You can give it water by running a damp cotton swab over the edge of its beak.
These animals are difficult to care for, which is why the RSPB recommends contacting a quick healer. They are listed here.
Nursery owners should be returned to their nests if found on the ground
Barn owl chicks
Some people may also encounter barn owl chicks, which normally leave their nests before they can fly.
The RSPB says the owls in this case need help, as those on the ground will be ignored by their parents. They recommend putting it gently back into the nest.
Owls have a weak sense of smell and do not reject a baby because it has been handled by humans. You can check if it is healthy on this website.