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There's something special about helping wild birds in your garden or school grounds. For the birdbox project I have put my dog's hair out on bushes - imagine my delight when the Blue tit eagerly hoovered it all up for her nest!
A friend of mine has a Blackbird that waits for her suet sprinkles every morning. My friend, called Sue, watches as the bird flies across the garden. If there's no suet there the Blackbird pecks at the back door to remind Sue to feed her. I bet you know someone who digs their garden with a Robin quietly sitting nearby - waiting dfor worms to be turned over! The Robin is known as the gardener's friend!
Now that the blue tits in my box have started to hatch I have started to worry - I worry that the weather might be too cold or wet so the parents cannot find enough caterpillars or insects to feed the chicks. So yesterday, when it rained all day and was quite chilly, I bought some "wiggly wigglers". These are LIVE meal worms that I put out for the birds to eat. Today the Sparrows and Starlings gulped down the live worms. I also bought some dried (dead) meal worms because these are cheaper, but do the same job! So why do birds need worms and insects to feed the chicks?
The answer is simple - the chicks are growing! The chicks need something called protein that comes from food like meat. The chicks will also need fat for energy to keep warm and keep moving. Fat is in food like suet and seeds.
The best way you can help the birds is to look after their habitat and make sure that it has the right things. If you build log piles there will be lots of insects under the wood. If you plant a meadow with lots of flowers the insects will come. Hedges made from native plants such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Maple, Elder, Willow are great places for insects to live - as well as great places for birds to make their nest!
What else could you do to help insects come to your school or garden?
Images: Suet sprinkles (top), Starling (middle) and worms (bottom)