With the recent mini heatwave across the country, spare a thought for our garden birds who may be struggling to find essential food and water this summer.

Although most wild birds are well adapted to hot temperatures and have several ways to regulate their body temperature, the heat still brings with it a number of problems that can impact on their health.

The dry summer months can result in a lack of natural water sources so a supply of fresh water for drinking and bathing is fundamental. Small birds’ diet consists of mainly dry seeds, so this is most important to wash them down with!

Provide a bird bath near your feeding station and change the water regularly. Or if you have room, make a shallow pond in your garden, which will benefit more wildlife than just the birds. Adding a natural sanitizing product such as Citrosan to clean water dishes and bird baths will help against the spread of disease. It also builds immunity so is a great boost for young birds.

Hot temperatures and a lack of water mean the ground becomes dry and hard making it more difficult for our feathered friends to access the supply of worms and insects that they can usually find in the soil. Having a full bird feeder is one way of ensuring your garden birds know where to find food when the weather becomes unpredictable, so it is always a good idea to keep a full feeder or two for when you go on holiday.

Just like us, finding a shady spot in which to keep cool is high on a bird’s agenda in the summer. Any shrubs or trees in your garden offering deep shade is a great way to create a welcome cooling retreat from the midday sun. When you are next out gardening see what extra wildlife-friendly plants you could add.

Warm weather creates a breeding ground for parasites, so cleanliness around feeding stations and water baths becomes paramount in order to minimise the spread of disease. Ensure that you clean your bird feeders and feeding tables frequently with a biological cleaner or the veterinarian recommended Ark-Klens as they are safe to use around wildlife and domestic animals and are effective against a wide range of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

For more advice on bird feeding throughout the year call CJ Wildlife on freephone number 0800 731 2820.