Weather to blame for shortage of garden birds in East Lancashire

MILD weather is to blame for the lack of winter birds in gardens, experts have said.

Worried people have been calling the RSPB’s wildlife experts in their droves this month as concerns grow about the lack of birds in gardens.

Many looking forward to the familiar sight of birds flying to tables and feeders have been left disappointed so far this winter.

However, the RSPB is reassuring people that this behaviour is down to the particularly mild weather for the time of year.

Wildlife adviser, Richard James, said: “We are receiving endless calls from people who are worried that they are somehow responsible for the lack of garden birds at the moment. Many can’t understand why feeders aren’t being visited, despite being full of high-energy foods, which are usually in high demand by December.

“The answer is almost certainly down to the unusually mild weather we’re experiencing at the moment. Birds will still be able to get hold of natural food in the wider countryside so haven’t had to call upon us humans for help just yet.

“But that could all change very quickly if the weather turns and temperatures drop.

“We’re urging people to continue to put out a little food and water as some birds will still be visiting garden feeders, but feed in moderation when fewer birds are present, to avoid wasting uneaten food.

“As soon as the weather gets colder, those gardens that have food out will be birds’ first port of call and normal service will be resumed.”

Among the birds missing from garden tables so far this year are blackbirds, starlings and thrushes.

However, sparrows, tits and finches can still be found.

A spokesman for the Wildlife Trust said: “There are still plenty of insects about, and the ground is still soft, so the birds are still eating where they were during the spring and summer.

“We are due a harsh winter, so we would ask people not to stop leaving food out for the birds.”

Twitchers are also being encouraged to take part in the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch, which rakes place from January 25 to 26.

For the first time next year, as well as birds, participants are being asked to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens too and record it at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch For more information about how to give nature a home in your outside space, visit rspb.org.uk/advice

Comments (2)

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4:45pm Thu 26 Dec 13

DaveBurnley says...

I'm surprised they didn't mention robins. I saw one in my garden yesterday, that's the first for weeks!
I'm surprised they didn't mention robins. I saw one in my garden yesterday, that's the first for weeks! DaveBurnley

4:31pm Fri 27 Dec 13

BIGGLESTOE says...

I blame all of this on food banks, Tight @rse Twitchers are no doubt cutting back on wild bird seed, and trawling around all local food banks for free peanut handouts they can wangle!
I blame all of this on food banks, Tight @rse Twitchers are no doubt cutting back on wild bird seed, and trawling around all local food banks for free peanut handouts they can wangle! BIGGLESTOE

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