Thursday, April 26, 2018

15 Jan

What Wildlife to Expect in Your Garden this Month!

This month its all about garden birds. Every January the RSPB hosts a Big Garden Birdwatch so the public can help them keep track of bird populations here in the UK. 2013′s Big Garden Birdwatch will take place between the 26th – 27th of January.

Your garden birds rely on you to provide them with a constant supply of food and water to get them through the winter. Summer’s bounty has diminished and birds often struggle to survive this time of year. Providing them with food and nesting sites is essential for their survival and to ensure your garden birds successfully produce a new generation next spring.

Get involved with RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch and help the charity keep track of bird populations in the UK. Take an hour to wrap up warm and sit back in your garden to record the highest number of each species seen at one time. It’s your chance to find out which bird top’s this year’s list.

If you want to really get involved, check out RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch events here! They offer bird walks throughout England and even a bird talk and meal.

Use feed to invite birds into your garden this month; it’ll make your bird watching hour as exciting as possible and really make the difference to your garden birds! Welcome birds into your garden with feed from Gardening Direct! We aim to give you the best value bird feed with free delivery within 10 days of receipt of order.

Click here  to take a look at RSPB’s bird identifier so you know the name of every feathered visitor you see! When you’re finished taking note of your garden birds you can click here to sign up and publish your results.

You can help your garden birds by checking if they’re diseased, preventing that disease from spreading and help them recover where you can. Birds, like us suffer from illnesses. Often these aren’t life threatening and don’t spread between species- but they can sometimes be fatal. Birds rely on you to provide them with extra food, especially in urban areas. This, however can also be the cause of illnesses – with so many birds using the same feeders, baths and bird tables, disease can quickly spread.

How to spot a diseased bird…

Salmonella…

Like E.Coli, can cause birds to become lethargic, unresponsive to danger and they stay close to feeders.  Salmonella is a bacterial infection that’s spread by droppings. Many strains of the disease only effect one group but others can effect a range of birds.

Avian Tuberculosis…

Avian Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that effects a wide range of birds including ducks, sparrows, starlings, gulls and pigeons. It spreads through droppings, so a popular bird table can be assisting in spreading the disease. Birds can develop scab-like skin legions or large pink growths.

Trichomonosis…

The trichomonad parasite lives in the upper digestive tract of the bird and progressively blocks their throat so they can’t eat. It has had a massive effect on Finches since 2005, causing them to decline. The disease is mostly found in Greenfinches and doesn’t affect humans or domestic animals.

Symptoms include a ‘puffed up’ neck, excessive saliva, laboured breathing and regurgitating food. Trichomonosis is passed on during the breeding season and when large groups of birds feed and bathe together.

What to do…

Apart from calling the vet, the only thing you can do is stop your garden birds from becoming ill. Cleaning bird feeders, baths and tables is the first step to creating a healthy feeding and breeding ground for birds.

  • Fill a hot bucket with soapy water and wearing gloves, empty any food from your feeders and scrub it clean with a brush.
  • Thoroughly rinse it and let the feeder stand to dry completely.
  • Finally, spray it with some veterinary disinfectant.

It’s also good to move feeders, tables and baths around your garden from time to time. This will hinder any diseases, providing a clean place for your birds to thrive.

 


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