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Remember Cock Robin as you stuff the turkey

[Monday 22 December 2008]

WITH more cold weather forecast for Christmas, the RSPB is appealling to bird lovers to remember Cock Robin as they stuff themselves with turkey.

Robins will need to eat almost half their body weight every single day to survive this winter and they need YOUR help.

RSPB

This has already been the coldest start to winter for 30 years and song birds are already struggling for survival. Without human help, many could perish, says England’s biggest conservation charity.

In a moving Christmas appeal, the society explains: “Robins will need to eat almost half their body weight every single day to survive this winter and they need YOUR help. Incredibly, a tiny young robin will devour as much as 14 feet of earthworms each day, and an average of two per hour.

“But December is one of the harshest months for wildlife with natural food sources in our countryside and gardens in short supply. Finding worms and other insects will be a challenge for all garden birds as the weather turns colder and the ground becomes hard and impenetrable.

“The food that we leave out in our gardens will substitute the natural food and could even be the difference between life and death.”

Pleading with people to put out seeds, nuts, kitchen scraps and – very important in times of frost – water, Lee Hollingsworth, an RSPB wildlife adviser, says: “It’s incredible that such small, fragile creatures as robins survive at all as it gets really cold – especially as they need to feed themselves more or less all day long.

“A couple of days of bitter cold and ice-covered ground are enough to kill many birds. Garden birds are in a constant battle to find food at this time of year so by putting food out in your garden you are greatly increasing their chances of survival.”

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