Picture the scene: It’s a crisp summer evening and you’re enjoying a nice walk down the canal. Suddenly, a swarm of angry geese blocks your path. What do you do? Many people aren’t actually sure if geese are dangerous or not and many would simply turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Here at WildThings, we take a closer look at geese behaviour and answer the question everyone is dying to know; are geese actually dangerous? 

Why do geese act out aggressively?

If you’ve ever wondered why geese seem to be so angry, there’s actually a very good reason. They act out aggressively as they’re very protective of their young and don’t like sharing space with humans or other animals. If they feel their eggs or goslings are under threat, they’ll do everything in their power to keep them safe. If that means a fight, so be it. 

Can geese actually hurt you?

Humans are very rarely attacked by geese, but it does happen. They’re very territorial animals and can certainly cause injury if they do decide to attack you. Geese may bite or hit you with their exceptionally strong wings and can occasionally cause a serious injury. Don’t worry, they usually only attack when provoked, so as long as you respect their boundaries you should be fine. 

What should you do if you cross paths with a gaggle of geese? 

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. If possible, try to give the gaggle a wide berth when passing and make sure to do so slowly, in a non-threatening way. The gaggle of geese will most certainly keep a close eye on you as you pass but as long as you don’t do anything to escalate the situation, your walk should remain uneventful. 

What should I do if I’m attacked by geese?

Firstly, don’t panic and try to display a calm demeanour towards your attacker. Don’t respond by hitting back or raising your voice, as this will likely aggravate the goose more. It’s crucial that you stand your ground and maintain eye contact with the goose, with your body facing them. Running away or turning your back will only prolong the attack. Standing your ground is the best way to get the goose to back off. 

So, are geese actually dangerous?

The simple answer is, yes, they can be. Geese like their own space and aren’t a massive fan of humans. Normally, if you mind your own business, they’ll mind theirs. Having said that, if a goose feels threatened, they can cause harm to the perceived threat so it’s always worth keeping this in mind. Ultimately, geese are wild animals and we should all do our best to give them space and respect their boundaries.

 

Want to treat your local geese? Shop duck and swan food online at WildThings. 

We had the pleasure of catching up with Zoe Duffin, who manages the Instagram account of the spectacular ‘Long Boi’. This feathery bad boy has made a huge splash on social media, amassing more than 30,000 Instagram followers amazed by his size.  Long Boi, who lives on the University of York campus, waddled onto Twitter and Reddit when users spotted him and believed him to be the tallest mallard duck to have ever lived.According to Long Boi’s Instagram, he is a cross between a Mallard and an Indian runner, which is why he has grown to 70cm tall. 

We chatted to Zoe to find out more:

What makes Long Boi so special?

Long Boi really does stand out from the crowd. He’s unusually tall and towers over all the other ducks on campus. He’s the only ‘long duck’ on campus so he’s very unique. He has always been loved by both staff and students here at the university, but his fame has sky-rocketed in recent weeks and he now has fans all over the world!

How did you first discover Long Boi and what made you set up his Instagram page? 

I first saw Long Boi in my first year of university. My accommodation block at the time was situated in front of the campus lake and I began noticing him on a regular basis. Some friends and I coined the name ‘Long Boi’ due to his stature and regularly went out to feed him and take pictures of him. We decided to make him his own Instagram account as we realised that he was a very unique looking duck. The resident waterfowl are a huge part of university life here at York, so we hoped that he would be popular with other students! 

I have always had an interest in animals and have had pet ducks of my own, so I recognised that Long Boi was part Indian Runner duck. This is a domestic breed, meaning that it’s likely he was left on campus as an unwanted pet. Luckily, we have a fantastic grounds team on campus, who ensure that all the ducks and geese are well cared for, no matter how short or tall they may be. Long Boi and his friends are big fans of WildThings Swan & Duck Food!  

We see Long Boi now has his own range of merch! What does the future hold for him?

Long Boi does indeed have his own merch, ranging from Long Boi themed stickers and badges, to branded t-shirts and socks! I designed all the artwork for Long Boi’s merch line myself and I’m always trying to come up with new artwork ideas. In the future, perhaps Long Boi will look beyond merch towards bigger aspirations…his fans think he should star in his own movie! 

How do you think Long Boi can inspire people to get more involved with their local wildlife?

Due to his internet fame, Long Boi has definitely encouraged people to get outdoors and involved with their local wildlife. I’ve seen a lot of people coming to campus (which is open to the public and a lovely spot for walks!) specifically to see him, not only from the York area, but from all over the country! Whilst looking on campus for Long Boi, people are able to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and are able to meet some of our other resident waterfowl, including ducks, geese, moorhens, coots, swans and much more! Long Boi’s growing online presence has the potential to educate his followers about nature and other wild birds, and hopefully encourage people to visit their local parks and wildlife areas to see if they can spot their own ‘Long Boi’. 

If you’re heading out to find your local ‘Long Boi’ why not take some WildThings Swan & Duck Food with you? It’s a tasty and nutritional alternative to bread! 

Summer is arguably the most beautiful season of the year. In the warmer months, the nights get shorter and the days get hotter, with nature in full bloom and an array of amazing smells wafting through the air! Summer is one of the most active times of the year for animals, bursting at the seams with life.

Summer is the perfect time of year for taking an active interest in Wildlife. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:

Swifts

Swifts spend almost their entire life soaring the skies and migrate all the way from Africa to the UK during the summer. They race, rise, fall, and scream while flying, giving the countryside a spectacular performance. In recent years, their numbers have plummeted. To help protect the species, you can build a swift nest box where they can nurse their chicks. Keep an eye out for these amazing birds from July to August!

Bumblebees 

At the start of summer, the bumblebee ‘worker’ females will work both inside and outside the nest. You will see them on the hunt for nectar and pollen, hovering from flower to flower. You can’t miss their bright yellow bodies and their distinctive buzzing sound. These tiny creatures are a bee-utiful sight to behold.

Squirrels 

Squirrels are active during the day, foraging for food in trees and on the ground. They will also happily visit your garden peanut feeders if you’re kind enough to supply them. In summer, squirrels are always on the lookout for a nice bit of shade and enjoy lying flat out with their bellies pressed against the ground. This helps them cool down and maintain high levels of activity throughout the day, even on the hottest days. 

Foxes 

Summer is the best time for foxes as there is plenty of food available, meaning cubs have an easier time learning how to hunt. Foxes will use their sense of smell to find prey and you may see them with their noses down, checking for scents. You can help out the nation’s foxes by shopping at our WildThings fox food range here.

Hedgehogs 

Most hedgehogs are born in June and July, which means they have the rest of summer to learn how to find food. Insects, like earwigs and beetles, thrive in summer and provide a feast for foraging hoglets. Don’t forget to leave a dish of fresh water out every evening to help the hogs stay hydrated while it’s warm. Our Hedgehog food will also go down a treat; click this way to shop now.

What animals have you spotted this summer? Follow us on our socials and share your pictures with us.

Curious about what badgers get up to? Here at WildThings, we answer all your burning questions about what they eat, where they sleep and how they spend their time. Read on for tales from the woods; a badger’s life.

Where do badgers sleep?

Badgers live way underground in a network of intersecting tunnels, known as a ‘sett’. Setts can range in size and complexity enormously; some can measure up to 100 metres with up to 50 separate entrances! Badger families tend to live together within these setts and a social group living together in the same sett is known as a ‘clan’. They all work together and they extend and enlarge their living quarters as they see fit. Setts take a long time to build and are usually passed down from generation to generation, with some setts being over 100 years old! 

Within the setts, badgers make nests out of dry grass, straw and dead leaves, which make lovely cosy beds for them to sleep in. These nests, as well as being underground, help them stay nice and warm in the winter months and safe from predators. 

What do badgers eat?

A badger’s diet is pretty varied. They forage for seeds and berries and are also known to chow down on earthworms, frogs, rodents, birds, insects and eggs. Occasionally, they may eat a hedgehog if they are unable to find other sources of food, but this is rare. The decline in hedgehog populations has occasionally been blamed on badgers but in reality, this is actually due to the destruction of hedgehogs’ natural habitats. 

Do badgers hibernate?

It’s a common myth that badgers hibernate during the winter months. While they may not actually hibernate, they do reduce their activity to a massive degree in order to preserve fat stores. That’s why the autumn months are usually dedicated to eating as much as possible, in order to accumulate the fat stores needed to see them through the winter. 

Do badgers come out during the day?

Badgers are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and wake up at night. Some time during the early evening, badgers begin to sniff the air at the entrance of their sett, ready for a long night of playing, foraging and socialising with their friends. 

The actual time badgers leave their sett is dependent on the time of year and what time the sun goes down. In the summer, they may actually emerge before it goes dark as they need time to find food when the nights are short. In winter, you probably won’t spot a badger until well after dark. 

When do badgers have babies?

Badgers can mate at any time during the year but birth normally occurs between January and March, after 6-7 weeks of gestation. Unlike most animals, badgers can actually delay implantation of a fertilised egg, which means that some female badgers can have a litter a year after mating. Badgers can have between one and five cubs in a litter and these cubs tend to live underground for the first twelve weeks of their lives. 

How can I recognise a badger? 

Badgers are very distinctive animals. With their black and white striped faces, short tail and grey fur, they are unmistakable when you spot one. They have long snouts and exceptionally sharp claws, which are particularly useful for all the digging they do!  

Badgers have unique footprints with five claws and base pads on each paw. This is very different from a fox’s footprint, for example, which is more like that of a dog. 

 

Badger setts are also very distinctive. The entrances are generally the shape of a sideways ‘D’, as opposed to a circular hole and doesn’t narrow within the entrance, unlike rabbit holes. There are several signs you can look out for that indicate a badger sett is active:

  • Smooth sides around the entrances, which are the result of repeated use
  • Signs of runs radiating out of the entrances
  • Fresh ‘bedding’ near the entrances (such as leaves, hay and grass)
  • Freshly excavated soil heaps near the entrances
  • Signs of footprints or claw marks near the entrances

How can we help badgers?

The best thing you can do to help your local badgers is to leave food out for them. Leaving food out in the summer helps them accumulate fat to survive the winter and leaving food out during the colder months offers a much needed food source when badgers may struggle to find the sustenance they need. You can shop for high quality, nutritious badger food right here at WildThings. Don’t forget to leave out a bowl of fresh water too in case the badgers are feeling a bit parched. 

If you spot a badger out during the day, it may be ill or injured. Badgers are wild animals so make sure you keep your distance and call the RSPCA who will advise what you should do next.

Want to find out more about all the wonderful wildlife the UK has? Follow us on social media today.

Now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel (or at least we hope we can), it’s time to reflect on the year we’ve had. The impact of Covid-19 has been huge, affecting almost every aspect of human life as we know it and the physical world is no exception. Here at WildThings, we take a closer look at how the pandemic has had both a negative and positive impact on the environment over the last year.

What changed for the good?

When Boris Johnson told us we needed to ‘stay home’ in March 2020, we had no idea how long it would be for. Suddenly, all we were permitted was one walk a day and maybe the occasional trip to the supermarket. Working from home quickly became the new normal. The restrictions on movement, as well as the extensive travel restrictions, has resulted in a sudden drop in carbon emissions, pretty much worldwide. In conjunction with this, scientists have also noted drops in water pollution and significantly improved air quality. For years, pollution has had a catastrophic impact on ecological systems in the UK, so this sudden break in what was considered ‘normal’ life has worked wonders for biodiversity. 

Wildlife has benefited enormously from the drops in pollution and the decrease in traffic and tourism has enabled them to thrive and find new food sources. 

What changed for the bad?

The biggest tragedy to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic is of course all the lives lost. In order to treat the millions of people worldwide that had caught the virus, increases in medical supplies were needed. Unfortunately, this has led to an increase in medical waste in the form of masks and gloves, as well as an increase in haphazard use and disposal of disinfectants. All of these cause harm to the environment and the wildlife that inhabit our surroundings.

How can we make a change?

According to UK-based wildlife charity PTES (People’s Trust for Endangered Species), ‘Wildlife conservation – both within the UK and internationally – is in danger of being forgotten during the Covid-19 pandemic. Decades of conservation work could be undone through neglect and unintended consequences.’

So what can we do to make a change and maintain the positive impact Covid-19 has had on the environment? Luckily there are a few simple things you can do to protect the planet and local wildlife in the UK. 

Cycle instead of drive

Driving a car and riding on public transport both contribute to increased carbon emissions. Cycling to and from work goes a long way to help reduce these emissions and also does wonders for your physical and mental well being. Not to mention, it’s much easier to spot wildlife out on the road when riding a bike so this will help reduce the likelihood of them being hit by a car or bus. 

Continue to work from home

The landscape of how people work has changed a lot over the last year. Many businesses across the UK have now decided to continue to let their staff work from home post pandemic. As we’ve already mentioned, the reduction of cars on the road and reliance on public transport go a long way to establishing long term change for the better. Not to mention the considerable drop in noise pollution that would also stem from this.

Leave out wildlife food

Make sure you leave out wildlife food and a fresh water supply whenever you can. Local animals will only thrive when they have a food source they can rely on so it’s important for you to do your bit to help out. WildThings currently offer an amazing range of healthy wildlife food; shop online today.

Get involved

The sad reality of the situation is that people often get caught up in their own lives and forget all about protecting the planet and conservation efforts. Get involved with your local conservation and rescue centres and help spread the word about what people can do to protect wildlife! 

Want to keep up to date with WildThings? Connect with us on social media and find out what we get up to to protect local wildlife!

Who doesn’t love feeding ducks in the local park? As the weather gets warmer and spring settles in, more and more people are becoming interested in UK wildlife and it is not uncommon for ducks to be fed bread. It’s what our parents did and their parents before them, so is it actually bad to feed ducks bread? In short, yes. We take a closer look at the five reasons why you shouldn’t feed ducks bread. Join the campaign – Better Than Bread

1. Bread doesn’t offer much nutritional value

While ducks love gobbling up a slice of white bread, the nutritional content of said food is usually very small. Bread is essentially junk food for ducks and there is a risk that they may fill up on this rather than natural food sources that are actually good for them. So what do ducks eat naturally? Ducks and waterfowl get a lot of their energy and nutrients from pondweed, seeds, insects and worms. These foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that keep ducks healthy.

2. Bread contributes to water pollution

Ducks generally have a big appetite, but even they struggle to eat the overwhelming amount of bread being thrown their way. Because of this, a lot of this food ends up in the water, rotting over time. Uneaten bread not only contributes to pollution, it also allows bacteria to breed and attracts vermin. For this reason, forgo the bread and do your bit to keep ponds and lakes crystal clear. 

3. Bread attracts other animals

Anywhere where there’s a bit of extra food up for grabs, there’s going to be animals. Uneaten bread is likely to take the fancy of neighbourhood rats and potential predators, which can threaten a duck’s ecosystem. These animals may start to eat the food in a duck’s habitat that they depend on to survive, putting their nutrition and livelihoods at risk. 

4. Feeding bread can increase the risk of disease

When ducks eat a lot of carbohydrates, this leads to increased defecation, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria to thrive. Mouldy bread can also cause a fatal lung condition, known as aspergillosis; this infection can actually kill a large number of ducks in a short amount of time. Ultimately, feeding ducks bread just isn’t worth the risk of the harm it could cause. 

5. An abundance of bread causes overcrowding

Where there is an abundance of food, ducks will naturally flock to this area. Overcrowding is harmful as it increases the chances of territorial aggression and also makes seeking natural (and healthier) food sources harder. Additionally, it’s easier for diseases to spread through large flocks due to close proximity.

So if bread is a no go, what is the best thing to feed ducks on visits to the park this spring? Just because you shouldn’t feed them bread doesn’t mean that you can’t still feed the ducks. Food like sweetcorn, defrosted peas, porridge oats and birdseed are much better alternatives. Better yet, you can shop specially formulated swan and duck food from WildThings and ensure that your local ducks are getting healthy and balanced sustenance.

how to be more eco-friendly

how to be more eco-friendly

One of the best things about the UK is our beautiful surroundings and the wild animals that inhabit them. Over the last few decades, our environment has taken blow after blow, putting the nation’s wildlife at risk and causing considerable damage to their livelihood. At WildThings, we know just how important it is to take positive steps towards becoming more environmentally aware. Read on for 10 things you can do to become more eco-friendly in 2021.

Use recyclable products

We all know that non-recyclable products damage our environment but it is crucial to understand the reasons why. Plastic in particular contributes to global warming and its longevity makes it hard to get rid of. Discarded plastic spreads toxins and can threaten wildlife in numerous ways. When doing your weekly shop, always aim to buy products that have the recyclable logo on them then make sure you recycle them correctly; it doesn’t take much to do this but small changes in your everyday life can have a huge impact when applied on a mass scale. 

Choose natural ingredients

Synthetic ingredients, when used and washed down the drain often end up in the ocean, which has a domino effect on our environment. These chemicals can be toxic and have a negative impact on nature and threaten biodiversity. When in doubt, choose shampoos, conditioners and soaps that are made from natural, biodegradable ingredients. We live in a day and age where it’s never been easier to find exactly what you’re looking for- take advantage of this and take pride in knowing you’re doing your part to protect local wildlife!

Forgo fast fashion

Sure the prices are attractive, but fast fashion has quite a damaging effect on our environment. Clothes are being mass produced in enormous quantities using synthetic fibres- which can be very harmful when ingested by animals. Before buying new clothes, it’s worth checking what they’re made of and avoid textiles such as polyester. Many fashion retailers are becoming more eco-friendly so look for labels that are making a concerted effort to reduce emissions and water pollution. 

Say no to plastic straws

It’s great news that the UK has confirmed a ban on single-use straws. As it turns out, people in England use an estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds each year. This has a catastrophic impact on wildlife and biodiversity to say the least. Say no to plastic straws anytime you’re offered them and invest in a metal or bamboo straw instead. Added bonus- you can actually use these kinds more than once!

Go digital 

We live in the 21st century; printing just isn’t necessary most of the time. You can minimise your carbon footprint by keeping things digital. Sure, we all like to have conversations around the printer, coffee in hand (at least before Covid-19, anyway) but if you don’t need to print, then don’t. Most companies will now allow you to make the change to e-bills too, so it’s worth doing that if you haven’t already.

Conserve water

An abundance of fresh, clean water is crucial for biodiversity to thrive. We often use more water than we need without even realising it and as much as we all love a nice hot bath, we aren’t doing our environment any favours. Take shorter showers, make sure the tap is off when you brush your teeth and use a washing up bowl for dishes rather than leaving the water running. All these little things add up in the long run! 

Grow, grow, grow

Growing your own fruit, vegetables and plants can have a positive impact on the environment. It is more sustainable to eat food you’ve grown yourself and the addition of plants to your garden can offer safety, shelter and sustenance for wildlife. You can go one step further by researching what plants are native to your specific area and support the local ecosystem by growing them and allowing them to thrive. 

Respect your local wildlife

If you’re even reading this article we’re willing to bet you’re passionate about wildlife. However, these are wild animals we’re talking about and they need to be treated as such. It is important not to interfere with their habitats when you’re out on a walk or try to pet a roaming hedgehog. Unless the animals are in trouble in some way, respect their boundaries and let them thrive doing what they do best. 

Are you taking steps to becoming more eco-friendly in 2021? Connect with us on social and share what you’ve been up to!

 

 

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a crazy year. Many of us are looking forward to the festive season just to have a bit of normality in our lives and be able to spend time with our nearest and dearest. It’s a sad fact of life that many people forget about caring for British wildlife, especially at this time of year. If you want to give wildlife the ultimate Christmas gift, there are several things you can do to provide for them and protect them. Read on to find out what you can do to make their Christmas this year:

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Christmas is a time of indulgence and with this naturally comes a lot of waste. It’s crucial (any time of year, but especially over the festive season), to recycle your waste properly as a failure to do this can have a huge impact on wildlife, not just in your area but across the country. Try to refrain from using too much plastic where possible and be sure to recycle your Christmas tree once we get into the new year. 

Feed the birds

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the local birds don’t need some tasty food to keep them fit and healthy. You can pick up bird feeders in your local pet shop and they will be sure to attract more birds to your back garden. As a general rule, food is a lot harder to come by in the winter months so it will be Christmas day like no other for your feathered friends when you install a brand new bird feeder. 

Keep your cat away

Humans introduced cats into the food chain, which means that there’s a lot more cats in the UK than there would be if they were wild. Cats are notorious for killing small animals and birds so if your cat is this way inclined, try to keep them away from local wildlife where possible. 

Create a wild corner

We all tend to do a bit less gardening when it gets cold, but this is a good thing! Letting your garden get a bit wild is actually great for wildlife as it provides shelter and an abundance of insects (which are a tasty source of protein for many small animals). You can also create a log pile in your back garden and this will provide a safe haven for many of the local critters. 

Leave food and water  

Many people leave out food and water for local wildlife during spring and summer, but when it comes to the colder months, many people assume that all the animals are sleeping. In actual fact, winter is when animals need readily available nourishment the most! Hedgehogs are hibernating less and less and let’s not forget about all the local foxes and badgers. Make sure you leave out a bowl of fresh food and water as often as you can and shop online for food specifically designed to keep the animals fit and healthy. 

Refrain from using chemicals

When it comes to recycling all your Christmas rubbish, be sure to throw away any garden chemicals whilst you’re at it. Many domestic chemicals are extremely harmful to animals and you can inadvertently poison them without realising it. The best Christmas gift you can give is a space that is safe and free from substances that may cause harm, so keep this in mind the next time you plan to do a bit of gardening. 

Be in tune with nature

One of the best things to come out of 2020 is all the extra time we’ve spent outdoors. When you go on your daily winter walk, be sure to remain vigilant in case you come across any wildlife. Be careful where you step to not disturb any hibernating hedgehogs and keep an eye out for any animals that might be trapped or hurt. You never know when there might be a cute critter that needs your help so try to be in tune with nature and aware of your surroundings at all times. 

What are you doing to protect local wildlife over the festive period? Connect with us via social media and share your stories with us!

When we think about UK wildlife, we often imagine cute critters enjoying the sun and making the most of spring and summer. But what do these animals get up to during the colder months? Here at WildThings, we take a closer look at wildlife behaviour during winter so that you can know what to expect and learn how to be a wildlife advocate when the seasons change.

Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are known to hibernate between November and mid March, however, studies increasingly show that this isn’t always the case. According to hedgehog charity Amazing Grace, over the last decade hedgehogs have been hibernating less and less. If you’re already a WildThings shopper and frequently leave out extra food for the neighbourhood hogs, you may find that this has had an impact on whether or not they hibernate. Those hedgehogs that are well fed may not actually need to hibernate as they do not need to depend on fat stores to survive the winter. Some may still hibernate, but sleep for a much shorter time than usual. If you’re generous when it comes to feeding, it is important to continue to leave food out of the winter months for those hedgehogs that decide not to hibernate- they may have come to depend on the food you leave them!

Badgers

Badgers are very mysterious animals. As they’re nocturnal, they’re very rarely seen out and about during the day and this is even more true during the colder months. Even though they don’t hibernate, they do reduce their general activity in order to be able to survive the winter. Their aim is to build body fat and the less exercise they do, the chubbier they will get! For this reason, they’re less likely to move from place to place and so badger sightings are likely to be more infrequent. That doesn’t mean they aren’t still around and don’t need help from you, a wildlife advocate. You can help your local badgers over the winter by regularly leaving out badger food and fresh water. The WildThings range will help give them everything they need to stay fit and healthy and make finding food less of a struggle when the weather is cold. 

Foxes

Foxes are nothing if not adaptable. Many species of fox actually grow thicker coats to keep themselves warm when temperatures plummet, so if you do see an extra fluffy looking fox during the winter, its magnificent coat is there for a reason. When the weather is warm foxes have a lot more options when it comes to food; they can easily find fruit, nuts and insects in the wild to feed on and so they generally keep well away from humans. It’s another story during winter, however. Food isn’t as easily accessible and so they may frequent human territory more and more and scavenge what they can to survive. This is why it’s actually really important to leave out food for foxes over winter. Like us, them going hungry is probably the last thing you want!

Ducks 

You may be wondering how an earth ducks don’t freeze to death over the winter. Many birds fly to a warmer climate but many of the ducks you see in the park simply prefer to stay put. What you may not know is that their feathers are waterproof and help trap heat against the body, keeping them nice and toasty when it’s cold. Many of us (especially those with kids) love feeding the ducks in spring and summer but it’s important to remember that ducks may actually come to rely on this sustenance. Be sure to get yourself out for regular walks and treat your local ducks to WildThings duck food. No matter what time of year it is, try to avoid feeding them bread as many ducks struggle to digest this. You’re much better off feeding them specialised food that has been created specifically for them and their nutritional needs. 

Swans

Swans are similar to ducks in that during the winter, some of them like to stay put despite the cold temperature. However, many of them migrate to warmer climates where food is more plentiful. Their feathers are also specially designed to keep them warm and they often ruffle them which helps trap in the heat. Once again, it is important to continue to feed your local swans during winter. You may not want to get as close to them as you would ducks as swans can sometimes attack when they feel threatened or scared. Be sure to shop WildThings swan food and pay them several visits between November and March. 

The main thing to take away is that if you’re a wildlife advocate, you should continue doing what you do best over the winter months. It is crucial that you continue to do everything in your power to protect wildlife winter wonders, whether that be feeding them regularly or providing optimum conditions for them to thrive. Connect with us on social media and tell us what you’re doing to protect your local wildlife this winter!

When we think about the wonderful world of wildlife, we often imagine tropical jungles in the Amazon or distant african landscapes. The truth of it is we don’t need to look far past our kitchen window to celebrate the animals much closer to home. There’s so much more to British wildlife than you would think; get ready to find out more about all the creatures native to the UK and perhaps learn some interesting facts along the way!

Badgers can survive on a wide variety of foods but their diet consists mainly of worms, fruit and nuts. If they’re really struggling to find sustenance, they may also eat small animals, such as hedgehogs. All the more reason to shop badger food at WildThings to give them a helping hand! They’re also impressively tidy; badgers regularly clean out the area they sleep in to keep fleas away. 

It’s no accident that hedgehogs are covered in spines. These prickly creatures curl up into a ball when they sense a predator lurking and their sharp spines effectively fend off any animals that may fancy them as a tasty snack. Watch out badgers! It’s worth noting that hedgehogs are particularly fond of eating slugs- so try to stay away from using slug poison as this can actually kill hedgehogs. You can also shop hedgehog food right here

Harvest mice are Britain’s smallest rodent, weighing as little as 4 grams. They like to weave nests out of grass and have semi-prehensile tails, which basically meals they can hold things with their tail! This is especially useful for climbing or picking up morsels of food.

Barn owls like to stay in one area their whole life and are known for being quite shy. They choose their nesting sites based on how easy it will be for them to hide and normally have one place to sleep and a few others to roost, all within a 3km radius. They also have the most sensitive hearing of any creature ever tested, so make sure you keep this in mind if you ever come across one!

There’s a reason why The Beatles sang about blackbirds. These beautiful birds roost together in the winter and sing together in unison, making a chink-chink sound. They also sing in the day and males start singing as early in the year as February in order to attract a female friend. 

Foxes are the nation’s scavengers and have developed strong stomachs and immune systems. This is so they can eat rotting food scraps that may make those animals with weaker dispositions quite ill. Household refuse makes up roughly half of an urban fox’s diet and they also feast on insects, worms and fruit. They may even hunt small mammals such as rats, mice and birds! 

Rabbits are nothing if not adaptable. Wild rabbits breed really fast and survive on a diet purely made up of vegetation, so it’s no surprise that the UK was previously overrun by rabbits. In the 1950s the disease myxomatosis was introduced to drastically reduce their numbers, causing them to become almost extinct! Thankfully, the cute little critters made a serious comeback and they’re now very common in the countryside (much to farmers’ dismay, rabbits love to eat up all their crops). 

Think there are no snakes in the UK? Think again! The grass snake is the largest reptile in Britain and can grow as large as a metre long. They’re normally found in areas where there is a body of water and woodland surroundings (so don’t worry, you’re not going to find one in your kitchen!) Fun fact, grass snakes like to do a bit of sunbathing when the sun comes out. Who would have thought? 

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