High temperatures are forecast to continue this week across parts of the UK, with the Met Office issuing its first ever extreme heat weather warning in some parts.
While we enjoy the sun, our favourite garden birds, like blackbirds, robins, and blue tits could be left struggling as the heat dries up natural water sources.
The RSPB is asking people to leave out a fresh supply of water in their outdoor space to help our feathered friends through the extreme conditions.
With temperatures already reaching 30C in parts of the UK, the RSPB is asking people to give birds a helping hand in the hot conditions by leaving out a supply of fresh water in their gardens or outdoor space.
Birds need water for two reasons; drinking and bathing. Unlike mammals, birds don’t have sweat glands, but they still lose a lot of water through respiration and in their droppings in the extreme heat. Most small birds need to drink at least twice a day to replace the lost water, so it’s crucial they have access to fresh water to rehydrate.
In addition to drinking water, water to bathe in is just as important for birds. Bathing is essential to their daily routine, helping them to keep their feathers in good condition and cool them down,
The hot conditions could leave the countryside depleted of its natural water sources, meaning birds will be left desperately searching for alternatives. By leaving out a supply of fresh, clean water, gardens can offer birds and other wildlife, such as hedgehogs with the vital resource they need to survive the arduous conditions.
Charlotte Ambrose, RSPB Wildlife Enquiries Manager, said: “In these high temperatures our garden birds will struggle to remain cool as natural water sources dry up. Birds such as robins, blue tits and blackbirds will be in desperate need of a drink.
“Turning your outside space into a home for nature by doing simple things like topping up your birdbath, creating a make-shift pond from a washing-up bowl or putting down a saucer filled with water could offer a vital lifeline to some of our much-loved garden birds. Our wildlife is already struggling so anything we can do to help revive our world is important.”
The RSPB has launched Nature on Your Doorstep, designed to help people turn their outdoor spaces into havens for themselves and wildlife. In a recent YouGov poll two thirds of people in the UK said nature was a source of solace during the pandemic. This exciting project has been made possible by Barratt Developments.
Find out more at https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/nature-on-your-doorstep/