Birds are some of the most fascinating and incredible creatures on the planet! More than 11,000 unique species of birds exist, each with their own special appearance, sounds and habits. But the life of birds can be a bit difficult during the winter months, so the RSPB Feed the Birds Day is here to remind everyone to lend them a helping hand!
History of RSPB Feed the Birds Day
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has been working toward conservation concerns, to protect the birds and their habitats, in the UK and further afield, for more than 130 years. The society was begun by a team of three women, originally to fight against the cruel fashion of wearing bird feathers and exotic plumes. Since then, it has grown immensely and now works not only in the UK but internationally as well.
Growing steadily over the years, this charitable organization works tirelessly to advocate for birds as well as meeting practical needs by providing them with reserve habitats. In fact, the RSPB has more than 170 various natural locations throughout the United Kingdom where visitors can have a day out and take a peek at the wide range of birds whose needs are provided for in these places.
RSPB Feed the Birds Day comes at an important time to act as a reminder to put those bird feeders out. In the late fall and early winter, the food sources for birds are beginning to become severely limited and they could use a bit of help from humans to make it through the colder, sparser months.
While the RSPB founded this day, they are no longer handling it or promoting it on their calendar. Even so, the birds will likely be grateful for any help they can get – no matter who is sponsoring the day!
RSPB Feed the Birds Day Timeline
Society for the Protection of Birds is formed
This group is an amalgamation of a couple of groups of women meeting near London.
The Society is becomes royal
Incorporated by a Royal Charter, the society gets its “royal” title.
Protection of Birds Act
The passing of this important government action is related to wildlife conservation and is supported by the RSPB.
Big Garden Birdwatch is launched
This promotional event to get people involved with birds is launched by the RSPB and the Big Garden Birdwatch continues on to today.
How to Celebrate RSPB Feed the Birds Day
There are all sorts of fun and creative ways to get involved with and celebrate RSPB Feed the Birds Day! Consider some of these ideas to get started with:
Feed the Birds!
The end of October is a great time to start thinking about the ways that birds will need some help all throughout the winter. Because the cold weather limits the amount of food that birds can find in the wild, they can use a little bit of help from the humans of the world.
Take RSPB Feed the Birds Day as an opportunity to get that bird feeder ready for the coming colder months. Head over to the local hardware store or order a bird feeder online. Then be sure to fill it with nutritious bird food that will supplement the birds’ diets all throughout the winter, like seeds, nuts, beans, sprouts, fruits and more. Food scraps that are high in healthy fats will help birds retain their fat storage throughout the winter.
It is important to note that there are few things that should not be fed to birds to keep them safe and healthy. Some of the things on the “do not feed” list for birds include:
- Cooked turkey fat. Some people believe the fat is good for the birds, but they tend to get the grease on their feathers which creates serious problems.
- Dog biscuits. These are fine for canines, but birds can’t handle the hard lump and might choke. Also, these can attract other animals such as squirrels or cats, which is a bad idea for birds.
- Milk. Birds can’t digest milk and it could even kill them. However, they can eat fermented milks, like cheese, and grated cheese is a good way to attract some particular birds.
- Salty foods. Birds don’t need salt and it can cause them to be excessively thirsty, which is unhealthy for them.
Make and Hang a Bird Feeder
RSPB Feed the Birds Day offers an ideal opportunity to teach the kids how important it is to take care of local wildlife. And one way to do that might be through a hands-on project like making a bird feeder. Teachers, parents, grandparents or others with kids in their lives can find online all sorts of different patterns for bird feeders, from simple to complicated. Some of them even use recycled materials or it’s possible to pick up the supplies at a hardware or craft store. It’s a perfect activity to do with kids to be creative while also helping them feel compassion for animals.
Join the RSPB
For those who live in the UK, joining the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds might be just the thing to do in celebration of RSPB Feed the Birds Day. It’s an excellent way to show support all year round and get involved with not only the feeding of the birds locally, but also work toward their protection on a larger scale.
Individuals, youths and families can sign up as members for a small monthly fee and get access to all sorts of benefits as well as being involved with a community of more than 1.2 million members. Membership can even make a great gift! Becoming part of the RSPB provides access to various online resources, like buying guides for feeders, tables, baths and other products, as well as free or discounted access to the 170 reserve locations.
Watch Some Bird Documentaries
Learning and growing in knowledge about birds is a great way to show respect for RSPB Feed the Birds Day! Consider checking out some nature documentaries featuring birds to gain a bit of information that can then be shared with friends and family in celebration of the day. Look into watching some of these to get started:
- Birds of the Gods (2011)
- Winged Migration (2003)
- March of the Penguins (2005)
- The Life of Birds (1998)
Those looking for more opportunities to celebrate these amazing flying wildlife at different times throughout the year can participate with other days that have a focus on birds. This includes an additional Feed the Birds Day, National Nest Box Week, National Go Birding Day, and many others.
RSPB Feed the Birds Day FAQs
How do birds feed their young?
Most birds feed their chicks by eating and then regurgitating the food so it is easier for the baby bird to process.
Should you feed birds in the summer?
While the birds probably don’t need help in the summer, it’s fine to leave the bird feeder up all year long.
How to keep squirrels out of the bird feeder?
Use special types of feeders, switch up the kind of seed used, hang the feeder from a pole out in the open, or add pepper spray to the feeder pole.
What to feed birds from the kitchen?
Birds can eat a number of scraps and leftover foods from the kitchen, including apples, eggshells, bananas, raisins, peanut butter and more.
Can you feed birds bread?
It’s never a good idea to feed birds bread as it has no nutritional value and may even cause them harm.