BirdLife: The Magazine Apr-Jun 2018 - Page 19

We’re sorry to ruin the age-old tradition of feeding bread to the ducks – but baked goods are no good for birds. Bread goes mouldy quickly, which can make birds ill. It’s also the ultimate “junk food”, filling their stomachs without giving them the nutrients they require. And if thrown into water, it can feed huge, unsightly algal blooms that suffocate all other wildlife. Luckily, seeds, dried oats and chopped fruit and nuts all make excellent alternatives. 7 Take part in a local bird count Ponds attract a great variety of wildlife, which in turn attract a wealth of fascinating bird species for you to enjoy from your window. But even a bird bath will work wonders, while providing countless photo opportunities for the keen bird photographer. It only needs to be a few centimetres deep for the birds to drink and bathe – just make sure to clean it out once a week with a stiff brush, and if cats are lurking, put the bath on a pedestal. 6 provide water 5 Don’t feed birds bread February saw two big citizen science events in the form of the Big Garden Birdwatch, organised by the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK), and the Great Backyard Bird Count, headed by Audubon. Ordinary citizens had great fun recording their local birds, while providing scientists with crucial information. And initiatives like this exist all over the world. There’s even a continent-wide one in the form of Eu