From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Frozen February causes problems for wildlife

The Beast from the East brings a cold snap for garden birds.

Published: February 28, 2018 at 11:50 am
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Birds preparing for the nesting season are struggling with the 'exceptionally cold' temperatures as much of the UK is plunged into freezing conditions.


This cold snap comes at the time of year birds are thinking about finding a mate and building nests, ready to raise their young. A lack of resources could spell dire consequences.

As the cold weather continues, food sources dwindle and water begins to freeze.

"After enjoying the warmer conditions throughout January many of our favorite garden birds such as starlings, house sparrows, blue tits and blackbirds will be shocked by the sudden cold snap," says Claire Thomas, RSPB Wildlife Advisor. "Birds will be desperately searching for food, water and shelter to survive."

An easy way to aid the birds is by helping them stock up on foods, such as fat balls, or homemade bird cakes that can be made from kitchen scraps and lard or even seeds and fruit.

Water sources can be scarce when there's been a frost but is vital for birds to drink and bathe in. The RSPB recommends "floating a small ball, such as a ping-pong ball, on the surface of the water as a light breeze will stop an area of water from freezing".

Thirdly, finding shelter from the harsh weather is key to the bird's survival. Putting up a nest box provides a place to roost and protection from the elements until the warm of spring arrives.

Find out more about helping your garden wildlife:


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