forget to fill up those feeders
Photos by Emma Hartley...
'PLEASE sir, can I have some more?'
Disgruntled juvenile starlings demand more grub after quickly demolishing a
bird table topped up with food.
An RSPB member was served up a treat of her own after snapping a flock of hungry
juvenile starlings on her bird table demanding more food after being treated to
a mid morning snack. Emma Hartley, who managed to rustle up some
extra treats for her adoring crowd in her garden in Maghull, Merseyside, said:-
"I'd only just got back to the kitchen after topping up the bird table and
feeders when the flock of juvenile starlings swooped down to tuck into their mid
morning treat. The food couldn't have lasted more than a couple of minutes
before they'd finished and were squabbling amongst themselves demanding more!
Luckily I quickly managed to find a bit of dried fruit and some leftover cheese,
which needless to say went down a treat."
Despite remaining the 2nd most spotted bird in
the 2015 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, sightings of starlings in gardens has
declined by 80% since 1979, and are UK 'red listed'; meaning that
they are of highest conservation concern. Ben Andrew, RSPB Wildlife Advisor,
said:- "Starlings are very bold and boisterous birds, 1 that most people
will have spotted in their gardens or in an outdoor space. It may therefore come
as a surprise to know that starlings have declined quite significantly over the
past 30 years. Leaving out a suitable supply of food and water will not only
help starlings and their young prepare for the cold months, but will also help
many of our other favourite garden birds."
Despite it being mid August, birds in and
around our gardens, including favourite like robins and blackbirds, are still
incubating eggs, feeding chicks in the nest or have vulnerable just fledged
chicks that can't yet fly properly. With some birds nesting up until the end of
August, it's important that garden clearance is delayed until September at the
Birds will appreciate a variety of food all year round, but fatty food will be
especially helpful. For example, fat balls, or homemade bird cakes made with
lard and packed with seeds, fruit or dried mealworms are great treats to put out
in your garden. Kitchen scraps will work well, and a good recipe for feeding
birds might include chopped fat from unsalted meat, cheese, dried fruit, and
The RSPB's Giving Nature a Home campaign is
aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK's threatened wildlife. The
charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens
and outside spaces; whether it's putting up a nest box for birds, creating a
pond to support a number of different species or building a home for a hedgehog.
To find out how you can give nature a home where you live visit:-
* Adjective - (Humorous) irritable as a result of feeling hungry - Collins