Saturday, 4 February 2012

Feed the birds

Sunflower seeds, raisins soaking, and a jam sandwich for the fox
It's snowing here in London this evening and after a few bitterly cold days it's settling perfectly. Looks like I'll be slithering my way to my orchestra rehearsal tomorrow (not quite like this). But right now I'm donning extra layers and heading out to leave some food for the birds. When the ground's covered up it's hard for them to find anything to eat, and they need plenty of nourishment to help them survive the cold weather - keeping warm burns a lot of calories. It's important to know what foods are good for birds and what can harm or even kill them; the RSPB gives some reliable guidance on its website (note that the list includes things that are bad for birds - you have to read the information under each heading to find out if it's a do or a don't).

Tonight I'm putting out things that I had in the cupboard: sunflower seeds and raisins (which should be soaked in water to soften them before you put them out). If you have cheese, grated cheese was a big hit last time I put that out. Apparently cooked rice is good, too, so I might make a little extra for dinner. The jam sandwich in the picture is intended for the fox I saw a couple of nights ago - I hope s/he won't mind pumpernickel! Of course with the snow still coming down the food could be covered up in no time, certainly before morning when the birds will be out searching again. I'm going to place it all underneath some concrete benches that we have around here; hopefully they'll find it there. Perhaps you could put out some food and water to help your wild neighbours in this winter weather.

[Once you're thinking about helping others through the cold, you might add your voice to the campaign to make sure nobody is ever forced to sleep on the street in the UK. If you can afford it, Crisis would be glad of a donation too.]

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