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Bird Care

At Lakeside we are conscious of our changing environment and the need to protect wild bird species. We have now introduced a bird care section which includes a wide range of bird care products for both pet and wild birds - from food to feeders, cages, bird baths and even bird tables.

Bird care tips

Over half a tonne of bird seed and 6,000 fat balls are sold at our centre each year. During the winter birds return to our gardens as their natural food sources are exhausted or are frozen in the ground. Feeding wild birds provides a source of nourishment but they also need a constant source of water for drinking and bathing – especially when water sources are frozen in winter or dry up in hot weather.

Drinking

As birds have no sweat glands, they need less water than mammals. However, they do lose water through respiration, and in their droppings. Most small birds need to drink at least twice a day to replace the lost water. Birds get the liquid they need both from their food and by drinking. Many insectivorous birds get most of their water from food. Seed-eating birds have a dry diet and they need to drink more. Water is generally freely available to small birds at the shallow edges of ponds and streams. They may also drink water droplets that form on leaves, especially if they live in woodland. Most birds drink by dipping their bill in water and throwing their head back to swallow. Pigeons and doves are able to immerse their beaks and can drink continuously. Aerial species such as swallows and swifts swoop down onto a water body and can scoop up a beaker of water while still in flight- very impressive!

Bathing

Water to bathe in is just as important - especially in winter. It is essential that they keep their feathers in good condition and bathing is an important part of feather maintenance. Dampening the feathers loosens the dirt and makes their feathers easier to preen. When preening, birds carefully rearrange the feathers and spread oil from the preen gland so they remain waterproof and trap an insulating layer of air underneath to keep them warm.

Lakeside - caring for nature