Ban on hosepipes but don't forget the bird baths
We Irish have a love hate relationship with the weather. We love it when the sun shines but we hate getting burnt and and having to do without watering the garden, washing the car and filling the paddle pool. Although small problems in the big scheme of things but spare a thought for our feathers Friends. Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland joined us to discuss how to help the birds in this dry spell.
The RSPB has advised the following to ensure we all can help birds in this weather:
With temperatures across the UK set to soar past 30°C this week, the RSPB is asking people to give birds a helping hand in the hot conditions by leaving out a supply of fresh water in their gardens or outdoor space.
Birds need water for two reasons; drinking and bathing. Unlike mammals, birds don’t have sweat glands, but they still lose a lot of water through respiration and in their droppings in the extreme heat. So it’s crucial they have access to fresh water to re-hydrate.
In addition to drinking water, water to bathe in is just as important for birds. Bathing is essential to their daily routine, helping them to keep their feathers in good condition so they remain warm and waterproof.
The sizzling conditions could leave the countryside depleted of its natural water sources, meaning birds will be left desperately searching for alternatives. By leaving out a supply of fresh, clean water, gardens can offer birds with the vital resource they need to survive the 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."
Irish Water have also published this advice:
Irish Water has said hosepipe bans are likely to take effect in parts of Laois, Kilkenny and Limerick over the coming week, and the ban may extend to other counties. It came into effect in the Greater Dublin Area, as efforts to conserve water during the current hot spell continue. Below is a list of prohibited activities for the duration of the ban.
- Watering a garden
- Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
- Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand-held containers filled directly from a tap)
- Filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds) using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes)
- Use of water for filling or replenishing an artificial pond (excluding fish ponds), lake or similar application