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Planning Retirement Online

Why you Should Embrace the British Garden Birds in Retirement

December 2016

When you retire you may suddenly find yourself with an abundance of spare time. One fantastic way of filling this spare time is through sharing your garden with a whole host of plants and wildlife, especially birds.

Our friends over at Kennedy Wild Bird Food are here to explain how you can get the most out of your new hobby. These feathered friends of yours can provide hours of enjoyable viewing, especially when some of the more unusual birds make a cameo appearance.

A Bird Friendly Garden

Many birds that were once commonly seen in British gardens, such as blackbirds and house sparrows, have slowly decreased over the years. But it’s fairly simple to create a bird friendly garden.
Things you can begin thinking about are the types of plants you grow, the types of food you provide, and of course, shelter. This will be where the birds can nest, avoid predators and raise their young in peace.

If you have grandchildren then this is great way to spend some quality time with them. Together you can plan and make a bird-friendly haven. It is also a fantastic way of introducing them to nature, as it teaching them why looking after the environment is important.

When do birds need extra food?

Throughout these cold long months as food becomes scarce, birds will search for natural food sources, especially seed heads and berries from shrubs. It’s important to bear this in mind when selecting new plants, as the nutritious seeds and high energy berries will help them survive these harsh conditions.
Using bird feeders are another great way of helping birds thrive throughout the winter months. Feeders will allow you to observe from the comfort of your own home to avoid getting a chill yourself. Just make sure you position the feeder towards some nearby vegetation to provide shelter.

But it’s not all about winter. The RSPB recommend that when you use bird feeders you should keep them fully stocked throughout the year, as the birds will become dependent on them.


What should I feed them?

Ultimately, a mixture of seed will attract a variety of birds. Fat balls - which are made with suet or lard - are fantastic for the winter months for most birds. This will ensure they stay warm and have plenty of energy. Niger seeds on the other hand, are a firm favourite of greenfinches and goldfinches, but requires a special Niger seed feeder as the seeds are so small.
It’s usually more economical to buy bird seed and food in bulk. However, you will need to make sure you store the food in a sealed container once opened, to ensure they stay fresh and at the same time ward away any unwanted critters.

Keep Clean

Sadly, due to unhygienic feeders many garden birds pass away each year due to the transmission of diseases. Kennedy Wild Bird Food recommends cleaning your feeders weekly and water containers daily. This will help keep you stay active whilst providing you peace of mind that you are doing all you can to help the birds. If you do find an injured or sick bird, visit here to find out what you should do.

Final thoughts

Don’t let bird watching just restrict you to the garden. This new found hobby of yours can be enjoyed almost anywhere, as long as there is a natural habitat for birds. Whether this is your garden, the park, or in the woods; Bird watching will not only provide you with a newfound appreciation of nature, but will also keep you active and sociable, especially if you join the birding community.

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