Posted 28th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
With temperatures soaring past 30C this week, the RSPB are asking the public to give birds a helping hand in these hot conditions by leaving out fresh water in their gardens or outdoor space
Birds require water for two reasons; drinking and bathing. Unlike other mammals, they don't have sweat glands, but still lose a lot of water through respiration and their droppings in the extreme heat. It's therefore crucial that they have access to fresh water, so they can stay hydrated.
In addition to drinking water, being able to bathe is also important for them. Bathing is an essential part of their daily routine, helping them keep their feathers in good condition so they stay warm and waterproof.
Sizzling conditions leave the countryside depleted of its natural water sources, with birds desperately searching for alternatives. Leaving out fresh, clean water in your gardens offer birds the vital resource they need to survive arduous conditions.
Chris Calow, RSPB Wildlife Advisor, said: "While we sit back and relax in the outside with an ice-cold drink, generally revelling in an unusually sunny weather, our garden birds might not be having such a good time. The hot weather could be causing natural water sources to dry up, meaning our favourite garden birds like robins, blue tits and blackbirds could be left without anything to drink."
"Turning your outside space into a home for nature by doing simple things like topping up your birdbath, creating a make-shift pond from a washing-up bowl or putting down a saucer filled with water could offer a vital lifeline to some of our much-loved garden birds that are already fighting against declines".