Please put out some water for our feathered friends

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Birdbath Image by Stephan Gieber from PixabayBirdbath Image by Stephan Gieber from PixabayParts of South Africa have been, and still are experiencing heatwaves, accompanied by strong and drying gale force winds, with little or no rain. There is also a high fire danger, and we are encouraged to conserve water in our gardens and homes.

Feed the birds (Red Bishops & House Sparrows)Feed the birds (Red Bishops & House Sparrows)Heatwaves not only affect humans and our gardens, but also the  birds and other creatures that inhabit them, so please put out some water for them daily, even a shallow bowl on a small balcony will help save many of our feathered friends from dying during a heatwave.

Drier times, especially before the summer rains arrive, also makes food scarce for birds, so put out some fruit, leftover rice or even stale bread - they will appreciate it so much. If the soil is hard, birds like robins can’t even dig for earthworms, because the worms tunnel much deeper into the ground where it is still damp. A novel substitute for earthworms is dog or cat food, which many birds like robins will readily take and feed to their chicks. The texture of tinned meaty chunks is perfect as it avoids hard lumps that cause birds to choke. Sunflower seeds, mild grated cheese, and of course bird seed will also be quickly be snatched up.

Our city birds are so amazingly adaptable, often building their nests in the most unexpected places, and foraging for their food in parking lots and other busy places, even stealing the dog’s food outside, or if they are cheeky enough, right out of the bowl on your kitchen floor.

Birds give us so much pleasure and what would our cities and gardens be like without their beautiful songs, so let’s give mother nature a helping hand, all it takes is a couple of minutes a day.