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Wildlife conservation: what I have learnt

By Nina Steele 

With so much going on in the world right now, it is easy to forget that life is not all about us human beings. If like us, you enjoy being with nature, then you understand the importance of looking after wildlife.

A spokesperson for the RSPB (the royal society for the protection of birds) was on Sky News the other day to discuss one of their latest initiatives, aimed at getting people involved in looking after wildlife. This particular initiative called the ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’, required people to observe birds in their gardens or local parks and then make note of their numbers and types. The information is then passed on to the RSPB, so they can identify endangered species and take whatever actions are needed to save them.

My husband and I love wildlife and nature as a whole, and so feeding the birds from our garden was a natural thing for us to do. We enjoyed sitting and watching them feed. The icing on the cake is spotting rare birds. It makes for quite a spectacle.

What we had not anticipated however, was how much mess we would have to deal with in terms of droppings, along with the fact that our garden was taken over by pigeons. Many people I talk to, who feed birds, would rather pigeons were not part of the equation, but they are unavoidable, and you learn to accept them.

After a while, we decided to stop. It didn’t help that instead of placing the feeders at the bottom of the garden, we had them nearer to the house so we could get a better view.

Watching Sky News made me change my mind, and I decided to start feeding the birds again. This time however, the feeders are where they should have been the first time, at the bottom of the garden. Predictably, the pigeons have already spotted them and have been hanging around, waiting for the smaller birds to start feeding so they can eat the scraps. I have to hand it to them, for their sheer determination.

One of the Sky News presenters complained about the cost of bird food. And I agree with him on that. From my own experience, it doesn’t come cheap, regardless of where you buy it from. Even so, what everyone on the show seemed to agree on, was that, in spite of the cost involved, looking after our wildlife is a worthwhile thing to do.

Photograph: rspb.org.uk

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