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By Tim Clarke Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 24/01 14:14
WITH a blanket of snow and ice covering large parts of Worcestershire there has never been a more important time of year to help feed the county's birds.
Winter is a hard time for a lot of wildlife with natural food resources getting harder to find.
And the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is urging residents to offer a helping hand to the county's feathered friends by putting out food for them during the cold winter months.
Steve Bloomfield, conservation officer for the Trust, said: “Plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfall can cause real problems. What’s left of dwindling natural food supplies suddenly becomes hard to get to – birds can’t penetrate the soil to reach worms and other invertebrates and frosts will begin to rot any berries left on our trees and shrubs."
“It’s really important to help out birds and other wildlife - putting out high-fat foods such as suet balls, sunflower hearts and peanuts along with seed mixes will really help.”
Birds will eat cooked rice, cheese, uncooked porridge oats, dried fruit and even dog or cat food.
It is important not to put out cooking fat or other vegetable oils or margarine as these can be easily smeared onto the birds feathers and hamper their flying ability and waterproof capability.
"There’s a huge range of bird food available out there but if you’re able to, we’d recommend buying a good quality bag of mixed seed," Mr Bloomfield added.
"Many seed mixes include a high portion of corn – great for poultry and pheasants but not so great for our commoner garden visitors such as blue and great tits, house sparrows and the like."
“If you’re able to put out nyger seed you may see colourful goldfinches visiting. If you’re really lucky you may even attract redpolls – these normally elusive birds are increasingly visiting gardens during the winter months and it seems that the availability of nyger seed is playing a large part in this.
“Good quality bird food is available from many garden centres as well as specialist suppliers. We sell bird seed from our headquarters at Lower Smite Farm and through a number of our local supporter groups to help raise much-needed funds for our conservation work throughout the county."
For more information on how to buy bird food visit www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/other-ways-to-help or call 01905 754919.
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