How to make your garden bird friendly in the heatwave
With the ongoing heatwave we thought it could be useful to do a hot weather bird care roundup to give you some tips to help the birds through so that they can be healthy into winter!
Give birds a cool bath!
Birds like to take a dip, shaking water through not only cleans their feathers, but just like us, the water helps to cool them down. Consider putting out a water source (birdbath, containers with easy perches) as well as giving them drinking water.
Provide drinking water for birds
Water bowls placed in the shade at different heights, bird baths, fountains, small or larger ponds are all great drinking sources for birds while rivers are running drier and other water catchment areas are dried out. Keep refreshing the water - maybe it’ll hydrate some small mammals as well!
Feed the birds
The soil is dry and hard and this will have an impact on some bird species who rely on worms and other critters such as blackbirds, parent birds are still looking to find food for their chicks so by keeping food in the feeders you can help to maximise their success.
Add to the feeders regularly with small amounts of soaked sultanas, good quality seed mixes and black sunflower seeds. You need to clean in between fills so that the hygiene levels are good (diseases spread in warm weather) and so that remaining food doesn’t deteriorate in the heat. The RSPB recommends to avoid peanuts and fat balls in the hot weather in case adult birds feed these to their chicks.
In such high temperatures, you may find that birds will not visit your bird feeder so try to find a shady spot for it so that they can stay cool.
And talking of shade! In hot weather birds look for thick cover that creates shade under the tree canopy, in hedgerows. Consider cutting back bushes and doing tree maintenance as late as possible to maximise shade for as long as possible
Take into account the sun when siting bird boxes - not only do you need to site them at appropriate heights and access points for the species, but think about how an element of shade or the side of the building will work for birds (without creating predator access of course!) should also be a consideration.
If you’re looking for effective and hygienic bird feeders, bird baths and bird nesting boxes, take a look at our ranges, we have birdhouses for garden birds with both the new BirdBlock wall mounted or integrated bird house, or our wall and suspended BirdBall Bird Houses, bird boxes that are species-specific for Sparrows with our SparrowBlock, an Integrated SwiftBlock Swift Box or our new wall mounted or integrated (the choice is yours!) SwiftBlock. If you are building a new house or having an extension our range caters for integration during build, or you could consider retrofitting a SwiftLoft to create a Swift colony within your building!And don't forget, if you find a bird dehydrated and in trouble in your garden, handling a bird can cause it distress so follow this guide from the RSPB for best practice.