Birds in a heat wave and drought: this is important now

aWhether you should feed the birds in the summer is a controversial topic for both gardeners and connoisseurs. In the past few weeks, concerns have also been raised about whether the animals will find enough food in the current drought. In general, there hasn’t been much singing outside the window lately. But the concerns are unfounded, says Sybil Winklehouse of the Nature Conservation Union (NABU) Hessen. A dry year does not have to have any effect on nutrition. Only in the case of feed preparations containing fats such as fat balls, care should be taken to change them often, because fats do not tolerate heat and become spoiled.

According to NABU, the reason why the number of birds currently feeling lower than it was a few weeks ago is because there is no shortage of food. There is simply less reason to sing. The courtship season ended and many young men fled. So no areas will be marked, since there is no longer a need to defend the nests. Now singing will only attract predators.

water instead of food

Winklehouse says year-round feeding is always an option. But this year it is no longer needed than usual, during the breeding season, it must be ensured that the seeds in the feed are not too large. Because birds usually feed their young animals with insects: if you don’t catch enough of them, food from birdhouses and feed dispensers should be used. Larger pieces of peanuts, which are found in many feed mixes, are not a problem for adult animals, Winklehouse says. This piece can be attached to the neck of a small animal. In the heat, it is also important to provide water for animals.

Stefan Stubing of the Hessian Society of Ornithology and Nature Conservation also stresses the importance of the bird bath. The same advice applies with regard to feeding birds: “Keep the waterer clean to prevent the spread of disease and away from structures that provide cover, such as bushes, so that enemies cannot chase unseen birds or wait for birds.” necessity but it does. Don’t see feeding earlier either.

Less and less food for the birds

Lars Wischmann of the Gießen Bird Sanctuary is of the same opinion. Year-round feeding is generally “almost a philosophical thing”. There is a real camp formation between supporters and opponents.

However, it should be noted that birds in general find less and less food in nature. In the past, more crop residues remained in the fields. “It is simply the result of better crop management.” The landscape as a whole is “more and more tidy” and therefore little can be found in the wild. In Wichman’s view, green streaks are also an emergency measure, as they are often only created for one year. Some species, such as honeybees, benefited, but not all. They must be created for several years, and even then they will not be a substitute for species-rich lawns.

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