Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Don’t Let It Get Mesh-y for Birds

By Philpickin @philpickin
The RSPB is urging members of the public to be aware of the hidden hazards gardens hold for wildlife and how they can be avoided.
The nature charity’s wildlife enquiries team receives a high volume of calls from gardeners reporting injuries to wildlife at this time of year.

As well as the obvious, yet still avoidable, hazards like birds crashing into windows and drowning in water butts, baby birds being abandoned because of hedge cutting, and hedgehogs being injured when piles of leaves are swept away, some accidents occur because of more so-called wildlife friendly items.
“Surprisingly, the mesh and netting that surrounds fat balls, peanuts and seed sold for bird food is one of the most dangerous things that can be put out in our gardens,” commented Val Osborne, the RSPB’s head of wildlife enquiries.

Despite suggesting they must be safe to wildlife because of the way they’re sold, the mesh and netting can easily trap birds’ feet and beaks, causing severe injury or even death.”
The RSPB recommends removing the food from the netting and transferring to a safe and suitable feeder.
Val Osborne continued: “Some companies are now starting to sell bird food products without these potential death traps, but unfortunately, many organisations have not followed suit and are still using these dangerous and unnecessary plastic mesh wrappers. Not only can they cause injury or worse to wild birds, they are just one more hazardous item of plastic to go into landfill.”
The charity is calling on members of the public to write to manufacturers and retailers selling the potentially fatal products to voice their concerns and highlight the issue.
Lolly Twigg, a concerned RSPB member, stepped up for nature by writing to manufacturers that continue to sell mesh-covered bird food.  She said: “Organisations selling these items are suggesting they’re safe; encouraging good natured people to unwittingly harm or even kill their garden wildlife. 
“When I found out many major companies in the bird food industry were ignoring RSPB advice by continuing to sell mesh and net covered bird food I was outraged, so I decided to write to them all to highlight my concerns and I am encouraging others to do the same.”For more information about safe ways to feed birds, how best to look after the wildlife in your garden and ways to avoid the pitfalls, visit
The RSPB stocks 
a range of safe, high-quality feeders for your garden birds. For more information, visit

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