IT MEANS MOTHER NATURE.

AND IT’S TRUE.

Feeding the birds

DSCF5037 Funts

Imagine yourself in a farm house; outside, winter is cold, and snowflakes are slowly falling at the window. Near a snowy brush is a bird feeder, where two sparrows, while still light outside, are pecking seeds. Meanwhile, a deer at the brink of the forest is eating hay from the feeder, but a hare is nibbling carrots that are placed in a hay basket near a fir-tree.

Experts believe that birds can get by without feeders, because they are used to finding the necessary amount of food on their own regardless the severity of Latvia's weather conditions. However, both in Latvia and elsewhere in the world, feeding birds during the winter is a popular activity, which brings the question – what does it mean and how to do it properly?

Ornithologists advise setting up bird feeders to those people who enjoy watching the winged populace, and who are ready to take care of them every day throughout the entire winter, as birds quickly become accustomed to being pampered. You will have a lesson in bird behaviour. You will notice that birds are awake only during daytime; consequently, days during the winter are much shorter, leaving less time for feeding. Metabolism of the little birds is fast, and they eat a lot, thus, given low temperatures, they may not survive. Those who wish to feed birds must remember that feeders have to be cleaned every day, as birds love clean environments. One must also make sure that the feed will suffice for the entire day. It is important to remember that feeders be placed in locations where the birds can feel safe – next to a bush or a tree where they can hide from an enemy – cat or other predator – when needed. A good source of energy and a nurturing feed for birds is fat – fresh, unsalted lard without spices. Such feed is popular among tits, great spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other birds. They also like sunflower seeds, oats, pearl barley, millet, groats, peanuts, linseed, cereal grains, apples, bread, dried mountain ash. One should terminate feeding the birds in spring when the snow melts away. Creating a bird feeder is simple, as it does not require a lot of materials and takes up little time.

The Dwarf Homestead at LVM Nature Park in Tērvete has opened a bird-cage and feeder workshop, where one can call Dwarf Mom and Dad for help in making a bird house, afterwards placing it in a desirable place, feeding the birds throughout the entire winter. Meanwhile, bird-cages that can be found in the park can be examined and cleaned, thus, teaching one to be responsible toward birds in winter.

Read suggestions from ornithologist Kaspars Funts on how to make a simple bird feeder.

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