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Please Feed The Birds

by Jimmy Rhatigan

STORM BARRA hit our country hard.

The next few weeks will be difficult for our feathered friends in the garden. 

Ireland is rich in wildlife, and our robins, sparrows, thrushes, blackbirds and many more need a helping hand through the coldest months. 

The cold weather, the lack of food, and the struggle to keep warm can prove tough on the local wildlife. 

The good news is there’s plenty of ways to help your birds fend off the freezing weather. 

From providing a reliable, energy-filled food source, to crafting a cosy nest box. 

They use up a lot of energy gathering food in the cold weather and they need exactly what we have been having at Christmas … lots of calories. 

The extra energy at this time of the year will greatly increase their chances of making it through the winter.

There are a lot of very effective nesting boxes available and these should be positioned carefully away from predators. 


Likewise, a feeding table is excellent. Fruit and peanuts (unsalted) are fine for garden birds. Place the feeders out of reach of cats.

Emily Miller of Petmania told Kilkenny Press:

“The real high calorie treats are the fat and suet balls and energy rich seeds and grains. 

Nyjer and sunflower seeds are ideal. Be careful with dried foods as they may swell after eating. 

Avoid salty crisps, and sadly bread has virtually no nutritional value for birds. 

Be careful that the food you provide is not dangerous for your dog or cat. 

Sultanas and raisins are toxic for dogs. Leave out clean water and make sure it is not frozen and, once again, well out of reach of the cat.” 

Caring for your garden creatures can be extremely rewarding, surprising and even addictive. 

There is an ecological bonus. Encouraging wildlife into your garden can have a really positive impact on both your garden’s eco system and the natural pest control it provides.

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