THINK OF OUR WILDLIFE THIS WINTER
Publish Date: Thursday, 23 December 2010
Mark explained, “During the winter when food for much of our wildlife is in short supply, many animals have a challenge just finding food enough to survive. In addition, the shorter daylight hours leave less foraging time to ‘fill up’ for a long cold night. Many people feed wild birds over the winter months, and this can literally make the difference between life and death.”
Mark continued, “A variety of different foods left out will increase the variety of birds seen on your bird table. While most people know that peanuts and fat balls attract tits and smaller finches, and that seed will bring in other finches and sparrows, try putting out apples or other fruit, which will cater for blackbirds, thrushes and starlings. Also remember that birds need water. In the current freezing conditions, most natural sources will be frozen, so putting out a shallow dish of water will help overcome these problems.”
If you do start feeding birds in the winter, you will be able to see a number of species that are more difficult to see during the rest of the year, as the birds loose some of their shyness in their quest for food. It is a great pastime to watch the birds in your garden or local park, and it’s surprising the number of different species that you will be able to see.
With the Christmas season in full swing, why not make a Christmas tree dedicated to our feathered friends. Hanging some edible ornaments on a tree will help the birds in your area. You can make your own bird seed ornaments, or you can make a garland from berries, dried fruit, nuts and even popcorn, to hang on your tree. You can also slice some fresh fruit to hang for the birds to nibble on.
Pupils from St. Patrick’s Academy have done just that, and with the help of Karen Sheil from the RSPB, came to Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council offices to show what could be done.
Councillor Michelle O’Neill MLA, Mayor of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council commented, “This is a great example of a project that anyone can do to help the birds in our area. If everybody did a little, it would collectively make a huge difference to help wildlife that could otherwise be having a difficult time.”
If you are interested in finding out more about the Dungannon & South Tyrone Biodiversity Project, Mark would be delighted to hear from you.
Tel: 028 8772 0366, or by e-mail: [email protected]