Did you know that bird feeding is the second most popular hobby aside from gardening in the United States? In the United Kingdom, it doesn’t appear that many people consider it a hobby or even partake in it at all for that matter…
Why should you care though? The economic climate makes it tough enough to feed ourselves at times, let alone putting food in the mouth of creatures that make little to no difference in our life.
Whilst that’s one way to look at it, the flip-side of it is that having a bird feeder in your garden could in fact save hundreds of little-birdie lives every year. You might be surprised to know that the majority of bird species rely on bird feeders to make up a significant portion of their food supply. Now you’re feeling guilty for not having one aren’t you? All those tiny little birds starving because you were too mean to put out a little bit of grub.
If it makes you feel any better, for many years my family didn’t do it ‘properly’ either; we just chucked leftovers outside or cut-up slices of bread and threw them on the grass. Whilst we thought this was good and beneficial to the birds, in fact, the majority of time we’d spend shooing cats, squirrels or other animals away. The birds it was intended for rarely got a chance to devour any of it…
That’s where bird feeders come into a league of their own, and if I haven’t done a good enough job of explaining why you need one above; let me recap:
- You’ll potentially be saving a lot of bird’s lives – especially in winter when food sources are much harder to come by.
- You get more birds frequenting your garden which can make it a much nicer place; especially if you have young kids, as they’re always intrigued by things like this.
- Keen bird watchers will be able to use this opportunity of birds feeding to get a closer look and really observe what they get up to.
- If you decide to track numbers and other information, you will in fact collectively be helping out birds by providing statistics to scientists and others in the field that can really make use of the data for conservation purposes.
The downside of this is if you park your car outdoors you may find it becomes a bit more of a ‘target’ for bird droppings. They’re really appreciative like that; you give them a helping hand with food and they return the favour by digesting it and dropping it back on your car – lovely.
We will be back soon to explain the different types of bird feeders you can get and what type of food you should be looking to provide to your garden visitors. As well as this there will be a whole host of tips, explanations and more analysis on why you really should have one.