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    Prof. Bańbura: “Helping birds in winter is worth it, but you have to do it wisely”

    According to Prof. Jerzy Bańbura from Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection University of Łódź, helping birds in winter is worth it, but you have to do it wisely. He added that well-chosen feeding places are important for the survival and good condition of the birds.


    In winter, you can see in Polish cities such birds as tits, greenfinches, siskins, common redpolls and many other species of small forest birds, which more and more often look food and places for nesting in urban area.

    “In recent years, winters in Poland have been rather mild, but food may be scarce in cities. Therefore, well-chosen feeding places are important for the survival and maintenance of good condition of birds.”,

    emphasized Prof. Bańbura.

    In some European countries, for example in Great Britain, due to limited access to natural food, it is recommended to feed birds all year round.

    “In Poland, there is no such necessity. It is assumed that the period when birds need our help begins in late autumn and ends in spring. However, regularity is important. If we start feeding birds, we should do it throughout the season. Birds cannot fly to a well-known place and not find food there“.

    he explained.

    On the one hand, winter feeding of birds is a factor that attracts birds to cities, although it is not a dream place for them to live. On the other hand, it is also difficult to find food in the forests in winter and there are also more predators.

    This is why great tits which we most often observe in cities, migrate from the forest in search of food.

    We should not feed birds with bread, cooked groats, pasta, potatoes or other leftovers from the human table that can harm them. It also turns out that hanging lard is not necessarily a good idea, and ready feeder garlands available in pet stores are a better option.

    “The simplest solutions, however, are sometimes the most effective. The best, most valuable and at the same time the most accessible food for birds is sunflower. You can choose kernels, which are undoubtedly very attractive to birds, but it is assumed that in-shell sunflower seeds will be much more beneficial. Birds eat some nutrients and micronutrients when they split the shells and they benefit from work during the splitting process.”,

    noted the scientist

    He added that when deciding to feed birds in winter, you need to be aware that the place of feeding can become a “trap”.

    “It should be remembered that not only birds but also predators come to places where food is regularly provided. These will be both predators directly related to humans, such as domestic cats, and raptors. However, the threat of raptors should be treated as something that occurs naturally in wild, but when you hang the feeder, it should not be accessible to cats.”,

    he added.

    When choosing a feeder, it is also worth paying attention to its availability for pigeons, which are very common, especially in cities, and not necessarily desirable.

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