Mild weather is to blame for lack of birds in Norfolk gardens

 
	It's all action at the bird feeder as a Great Tit prepares to land it frightens the more timid Long Tailed Tit away. 
	  
It's all action at the bird feeder as a Great Tit prepares to land it frightens the more timid Long Tailed Tit away.  

Donna-Louise Bishop donna-louise.bishop@archant.co.uk @donnaloubishop
Sunday, December 29, 2013
3:15 PM

A charity with the protection of birds at its heart is reassuring nature lovers in Norfolk that despite a drop in numbers the gardener’s best friend will be making a return.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has received an increase in calls from worried people over concerns about the lack of birds in their gardens.

Now the national charity is reassuring people and explained that this behaviour was down to Norfolk’s mild weather for the time of year.

Richard James, RSPB wildlife adviser, said: “We are receiving endless calls from people who are worried that they are somehow responsible for the lack of garden birds at the moment. The answer is almost certainly down to the unusually mild weather we’re experiencing at the moment.

“Birds will still be able to get hold of natural food in the wider countryside so haven’t had to call upon us humans for help just yet. But that could all change very quickly if the weather turns and temperatures drop.”

The charity is urging people to fill up their bird feeders and tables with lots of high energy foods as the cold weather arrives.

Rachael Murray, RSPB’s communications officer for the east, said: “Up to now, natural food sources have been readily available and water has been easy to come by. But with temperatures falling, birds will need all the help they can get to survive the winter.”

People are being advised to put out calorie-rich foods like mixed seed, nyjer seed, fatballs, suet sprinkles, sunflower seed and good-quality peanuts, as well as kitchen scraps, like mild grated cheese, cooked rice and porridge oats.

Water is also essential for drinking, bathing and preening and the most effective way to keep it from freezing is to place in a lightweight ball - such as a ping-pong ball - which can be easily moved by a gentle breeze, keeping a small amount of water ice-free.

And highlighted the dangers of cooked turkey fat the charity is urging people to not put the leftover contents of a roast dinner outside if it contains cooking juices from meats or turkey.

Richard James, RSPB wildlife adviser, said: “This is a completely different kind of fat and could have catastrophic effects. Only pure fats such as lard and suet should be used to make homemade fat balls.”

The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch will also be making a return on January 25 and 26.

The world’s biggest wildlife survey gives people across the country the chance spend just one hour at any time over that weekend to note the highest number of each bird species seen in their gardens or local park at any one time. They can then submit their results to the RSPB.

• For more information visit rspb.org.uk.

• Do you have a unique way of attracting wildlife into your garden? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

6 comments

  • Could explain the lack of buzzards in the Stody area...

    Report this comment

    Betty Swallocks

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

  • The reason for the lack of birds is because the local gamekeepers have shot them all..

    Report this comment

    Master_Mates

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

  • Pity there isn`t a shortage of pigeons , messy tree rats .

    Report this comment

    dragonfly

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

  • I note that any sensible non pro RSPB comment fails to appear

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

  • Dont forget grannys cats as well Bless them sweet little bird killers

    Report this comment

    Fishmore

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

  • where is the blame in this story? Blame implies fault-what the reporter means is can be attributed to. Where I live the lack of birds in gardens is partly down to the fool who has put a bird table right out in the open and which is luring small birds and proving a feeding station for the local sparrowhawks. Trees which are normally stripped of berries, mild weather or not, are still fully laden because most of the blackbirds are piles of feathers, sparrows all gone and doves looking decidedly thin on the ground. But sparrowhawks often seen more than once a day zipping through the garden. Presumably once all the song birds are gone their numbers will fall again.As for buzzards, don't believe everything the politically motivated RSPB tells the EDP and the courts. If birds of prey are found dead and have not been shot it can easily be from accidental poisoning as a result of picking up sluggish rats which have been eaten the new " second generation" rat poisons. These may be placed so that direct poisoning is not possible but it is hard to guarantee that all rats will die undercover. No excuse for shooting a bird of prey,buzzards have eradicated all the rabbits on one pal's farm -the problem comes when conditions are not right for their prey species to recover after the tipping point in prey predator balance has been reached.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT