Friday, 6 February 2009

Feeding the birds

According to the BBC "Up to 17cm (6.7in) of snow has been reported in Exeter." I'd say we have around 2 inches - would that be because we don't live on a hill?

What do my fellow bird feeders do when it snows? Living in the South I've no experience of these situations. The pigeons, doves, squirrels and blackbirds are okay as one of our bird tables has a roof. None of the smaller birds use this table though. Should I keep clearing snow from the other seed trays in the hope that they will snatch a bite before it gets covered over again?

One thing I shall do regularly is to break the ice on the pond. It amazes me how many creatures rely on it for drinking water. Our cat William refuses to drink from a bowl and last time I broke the ice he ran out for a long drink (despite having had water in the house all night). We also had another cat walking over the ice a couple of days ago searching for a spot of water. Then there are the squirrels and birds. I wonder where they all used to drink before we put in the ponds.


Antigonum Cajan said...

Rarely I find such writing about close by observations of flora/fauna/earth/water interacting.
Thanks. I hope you continue widening
your interest and writing.

Scriptor Senex said...

I have the great advantage that the tiny trickle of bubbles from our pump keeps one pond free from ice. (I know it's not environmentally friendly to run it all the time but it probably doesn't take much more electricity than one of the modern machines on standby).

Scriptor Senex said...

Mopsa's farm in Devon - presumably higher up than you - has had plenty!

Bryony said...

About the bird food - I ensure that all hanging feeders are full, and for the ground feeders (Blackbirds, Dunnocks etc) I just chuck handfuls of sunflower seeds and suet pellets onto the snow where the groundfeeder lives. They know to go to this place for food and just rummage in the snow. Little and often is the key so it doesn't get buried by snow before they can find it. If you only have a traditional bird table then I would use the space beneath it (where they would rummage for fallen seed) as the ideal place.

Hope this helps

Dewi Elliott said...

I read that floating a tennis ball in a pond can help to avoid the pond totally freezing over and then you can remove it without breaking the ice and disturbing the wildlife in the pond or something like that. :)