Feeding birds in winter

Beleef de winter: gevederde bezoekers van onze voedersilo from Natuurhulpcentrum Opglabbeek on Vimeo.

This is a video about a bird feeder and its visitors in Belgium.

In a garden in the Netherlands, owned by BirdLife in the Netherlands, there are four webcams. They register the birds which come to the feeders during the day (and the mice which come at night).

From the Press-Republican in New York state, USA:

January 2, 2011

Feeding birds in winter

RICHARD GAST, Cornell Ag Connection Press-Republican Plattsburgh Press Republican

According to the most recent census reports, bird watching may very well be America’s fastest-growing national pastime, with more than 65 million Americans of all ages putting bird feeders in their yards where they can easily appreciate them.

In fact, by some survey estimates, bird watching is America’s second most popular leisure-time activity, with birding buffs spending more than $2.5 billion annually on feeders and seed. Only gardening is more popular.

In summer and fall, most non-migratory songbirds feed primarily on insects and spiders. They supplement their diet with berries, seeds and other vegetation. But in winter, there are no insects, and the edible berries and vegetation that haven’t been eaten become buried under the snow and packed in ice. Across the North Country, devoted bird enthusiasts take pleasure and pride in helping their feathered friends survive the harsh winter months, dutifully providing them with food, water and shelter.

No matter where you live, you can put food out, helping to ensure the survival of our feathered friends. Many bird watchers simply scatter seed on the ground, or more accurately, atop the snow and ice on the ground. And many birds actually prefer ground feeding.

But, birds feeding on the ground can be easy prey for cats and other predators, such as hawks. Besides, ground feeding is a wasteful practice. Large quantities of seed unavoidably become covered with snow. And prolonged exposure to moisture can result in contamination by mold and bacteria, as well.

This is another Belgian video about birds at a feeder in winter.

Birds of the Ecomare restaurant, Texel: here.

(University of California – San Francisco) In a finding that once again displays the power of the female, UCSF neuroscientists have discovered that teenage male songbirds, still working to perfect their song, improve their performance in the presence of a female bird: here.

Divining secrets of bird flight with wind tunnels, cameras, lasers, surgical equipment & olive oil clouds: here.

MicroRNAs in the songbird brain respond to new songs: here.

2 thoughts on “Feeding birds in winter

  1. http://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/wild_bird_surveys_carried_out_across_east_sussex_by_rspb_1_2221426

    Wild bird surveys carried out across East Sussex by RSPB

    Published on Sunday 02th January 2011 1:00 PM

    FARMS in Uckfield, Lewes, Ringmer, Robertsbridge, Stanmer, Eastbourne and Brighton were the sites for special surveys of wild birds this year.

    The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ volunteer and farmer alliance surveys have shown how vital the county’s farmland is to providing habitats for birds, even more vital now in harsh weather.

    The free surveys, carried out by volunteers, help farmers identify birds of conservation concern on their land. The RSPB can then advise them on how to help these species and make the most of their farms for wildlife.

    Bruce Fowkes, RSPB South East’s farmland adviser, said: “We’ve had a great response from farmers in East Sussex wanting to take part.

    The volunteer and farmer alliance is all about helping them to help the birds. Distribution maps produced from the surveys show where priority species are so that target conservation measures can be put in place on farms.”

    In East Sussex farms covering 1,504 hectares were surveyed this summer. In the South East, the top three birds seen during surveys were the chaffinch and blackbird which were both seen on 97 per cent of farms, the blue tit which was present on 95 per cent and the wren, on 93 per cent.

    Some of the least seen birds included key species of conservation concern such as the corn bunting and the grey partridge, seen only on 16 percent of farms surveyed.

    The surveys take place over three visits between April and July, in the early morning when birds are most active.

    Work is being done with farmers in East Sussex to help benefit some of the birds seeing the greatest decline.

    The data from surveys will add to the understanding of how these birds are doing and enable further conservation action to be taken.

    It’s hoped to increase the number of surveys next year.

    Any farmers or volunteers can contact Eleanor Burke at: eleanor.burke@rspb.org.uk or by calling 01273 763616.


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