Irish children help birds


This video is called A year of Irish birds 2011.

From the RSPB:

Serving up a gigantic feast for birds

Last modified: 02 July 2012

Co Antrim may have the Giant’s Causeway, but in Co Down two schools have set up a Giant Bird Table on their grounds. This is not a massive platform smothered in lard and birdseed, but seed plots that are sown in late April or early May with cereals such as oats, barley or linseed and a cornfield annual mix containing corn marigolds, corn poppy and cornflower. These are then left over winter to go to seed and provide a valuable feeding area for birds during the cold harsh months.

Jen Banks, RSPB’s Youth and Education Assistant, has been working with schools to promote Giant Bird Tables in schools. Following sessions supported by NIEA about the decline of house sparrows, the pupils of Spa and Fairhill Primary were keen to help house sparrows and other seed-eating birds such as chaffinch, greenfinch and goldfinch, as well as less well known species.

Michael McLaughlin, Agri-Environment Officer, RSPB, said, “Seed-eating birds are in the decline across Northern Ireland and Giant Bird Tables are a great way to create the seed-rich habitats that will assist birds like the yellowhammer, tree sparrow, linnet and reed bunting.”

Spa Primary’s Giant Bird Table was created on a slope that was too steep for the pupils to play on.

“We’ve wanted to do something with that bit of ground for some time. As we were having renovations done on our school building, it was thought it would be good to do something for nature as well,” said Hilary Banks, teacher. “The Giant Bird Table was perfect. The pupils really enjoyed sprinkling the seeds and it has just started to grow. We are looking forward to seeing the birds feed on the seeds in the autumn when the pupils return to school.”

Fairhill Primary planted a Giant Bird Table last year and resowed the plot this year. For those who worry that a Giant Bird Table might look out of place in school grounds, there is good news. The school was recently judged in the Best Kept School Competition and were Highly Commended. The Giant Bird Table received a special mention and there was also the suggestion it could be extended.

Both of these schools have done a wonderful job stepping up for nature. The Giant Bird Tables will look beautiful over the summer as they attract many insects to the flowering plants, providing food for chicks. Come the winter the children can watch the birds enjoy the seeds.

For more information on the work the RSPB does in Northern Ireland or to inquire about the Giant Bird Tables, go to www.rspb.org.uk/northernireland.

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