Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Turkey Fat is not for the Birds

Whilst trying to find some information about the under wing colouring on Robins I came across an interesting page on the RSPB site. Basically they are recommending that left over turkey fat from the Christmas dinner is not used, by itself or mixed with seeds, as a food for our garden birds. One problem is that it is a soft fat which does not solidify and can get on their feathers and ruin the water repellent properties. Another is that many people rub salt into the turkey to crisp up the skin during cooking. Unfortunately this will get into the run off fat and is not good for birds.

Other left overs from the Christmas feasting which the birds will welcome include Christmas Cake crumbs, Crumbs from mince pie pastry and biscuits. The full article can be seen HERE on the RSPB site.

With the prolonged cold weather many of us have been experiencing the visitors to our gardens need our help to survive. Please remember that water is just as important as some food scraps or bird seed. That is the one thing I have to attend to several times a day as each fresh container of water I put out freezes over quite quickly.

Trying to Find Water

Water is Important in Frozen Conditions


  1. Thats some good information John.
    Those Starlings don't miss much do they.

  2. Hello Roy. They don't miss much - even try to bathe in the shallow dish!

  3. John, not only is it dangerous it's damn close to cannibalism. There's an article in today's Telegraph re-emphasising the warning. Have you tried floating a ping pong ball on the water it seems to delay the freezing. Anything that floats will do. The Starlings would enjoy it regardless.

  4. Interesting about the Turkey fat John. Never knew that.
    I'm struggling at the moment, trying to keep some unfrozen water available. It was worth it the other day though watching some Starlings bathing in an old dog bowl of water. They were having such a great time.

  5. Hello Adrian. I will have to get something to float in the water. The last time I tried floating a ball in the pond it made no difference.

  6. Hello Keith. I didn't know about it either. Yes. Starlings seem determined to bathe no matter what the temperature or how small the amount.

  7. It is indeed a joy to see birds having a bath in the..bird bath. In fact others stand on the edge and have a shower! They really look as if they are enjoying themselves, I am tempted to give them some bubble bath and a back scratcher!

  8. I am sure they would appreciate it Matron ;)


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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