They say it's not over until the fat lady sings.. well in nature, it will be all over if the fat lady [robin] doesn't sing.
Feed the Birds weekend has passed but it's not a one off activity, the weekend's a reminder to continue to put out food for garden birds all through the winter.
What we're saying is, if you don't feed your garden birds to help them keep warm, they'll freeze to death. There are no size 0 models in this winter's bird fashion parade. Only the well-fed will survive to deliver a dawn chorus.
Over the weekend our London teams were on Hampstead Heath and in St James' Park allotment, reminding people to spare a few cake crumbs, fruit or other kitchen scraps for birds. The question they were asked most often was, "why should we put out food; birds have survived without human intervention in the past?" Well, I may be preaching to the converted on this blog-page but our most common species, house sparrows and starlings, are suffering huge population crashes. Both have lost around two-thirds of their numbers. Research strongly suggests this is food related.
There's a real shortage of bugs and seeds to eat. Our gardens have become extensions of our homes and are kept neat and tidy, there's far less to support wildlife than there used to be. Addressing this imbalance is easy, and the good news is that it need not be expensive or difficult and you'll be able to enjoy the sight of birds, butterflies and bees all helping to keep pests down for you.
So what do you do? You restock nature's larder by growing flowers, shrubs and grasses. No garden? No problem. A windowbox, balcony or a flat roof not only look nicer when you grow plants, but you'll also saving the opera that is nature. Visit our Community pages where people have shared their experiences of gardening for wildlife. If you need advice, tell us about the space you've got and we'll give you some ideas. It's our Homes for Wildlife project. It's FREE, but you do need to register.
Fat is a avianist issue, so bring on the fat birds. Use your food scraps to support nature instead of feeding your bin and we'll all winners.