Saturday, 26 July 2014

Feed the birds... tuppence a bag (just not bread!)

Feeding the Birds at Marden Quarry

I've posted here before about how much I love where I live. Well today, Essie and I were left to our own devices as Jay went fishing with her dad. Essie decided that she wanted to make cupcakes (in this heat??!!) then go to the local nature reserve which conveniently is located at the top of our street.

Everyone follow Mama

In the past, we've gone armed with part used loaves of bread to feed the geese, swans, ducks, coots and moorhens who reside there but lately, we've been trying to find alternatives.

Canadian Geese

After generations of families have been feeding our waterfowl and garden birds the lowly loaf, it is now widely agreed that this is not a good thing to do. Of course starvation is a killer but there are much healthier things for us to feed our avian friends.

Mama swan and her cygnets

Think about it. Bread is not a natural foodstuff of wild birds and lets face it, most dieticians agree that too much bread for humans is not a good thing. It fills birds tummies but doesn't hold much nutritional value and can actually cause harm by choking smaller/younger birds, clogging their crops and causing Angel Wing - too much protein and too little vitamin E which causes deformity of the wing - ultimately preventing the bird from flying.

Advice from our local council

It is good fun to feed the birds, so what is a good alternative to bread? Our council have posted advice around the reserve. You can buy floating feed especially for waterfowl from pet shops but for if you have any uncooked porridge oats or other non sugary cereals, this is a good source of birdy nutrition. Also, halved grapes and leafy greens (not lettuce) are another good alternative. We decided to go for some frozen peas which were defrosted by the time we got there. The birds lapped them up.

Canadian Geese - Single file!

We had a fabulous hour or so at the nature reserve. It's so peaceful nestled away in the middle of suburbia and knowing that we hopefully gave the birds something healthier made it all the better.

By Bee

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