The freezing cold front difficult for birds

mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

There have been instances where seagulls, swan, geese and small birds have been frozen solid during the cold season. The Icelandic Animal Protection Association has encouraged people to feed the birds as in this unusually cold weather the smallest of our winged friends have problems getting anything to eat.

“This is a devastating situation. We started seeing that people were finding animals that were cold and frozen. Then we thought that we needed to encourage people to help the animals,” says Linda Karen Gunnarsdóttir, chairperson of the Icelandic Animal Protection Association.

Relying on many feeders

“There was one woman today who was feeding birds in Vatnsmýri í Reykjavík and she found two dead geese. Since then swans have been found frozen solid in Reykjanesbær,” she said, adding that a seagull was also found frozen solid in the upper regions of Reykjavík.

“It’s been a long very cold season. Such a long difficult freezing spell is difficult for the birds. Of course, it’s always important to feed the birds in the winter, because many of them rely on our food sources. But the situation now is more serious because of the severe weather. There are other bird species that need assistance, and we strongly want to encourage people to join us and feed the animals.”

mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Bread is not the best food

When asked, Gunnarsdóttir says that bread is not the best food for the birds. It is better to feed them barley, wheatgerm or dog food. The Reykjavík City Animal Services has provided hay and fodder, which can be placed at the waterfront so the birds come out of the water and do not freeze solid.

“The gray goose is in big trouble now. You can feed them barley grain, wheat grain, or dog food. The bread loaf is the last on the list, but it is certainly better than nothing, ” says Gunnarsdóttir, adding that at the end of the year, “the birds are completely reliant on the people at this time of year, so it is important to provide a helping hand.

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