They are a part of our every-day life

We are so used to them that we take them for granted. But we, humans, also depend on their survival. Everything in the ecosystem is interconnected and harmony would be impossible without all the individual elements. Let’s see an example of this from the city of Sofia.

© Sv. Spasov/Sparrow
© Sv. Spasov/Great tits

Great tits and the horse chestnut trees in Sofia

We all love the horse chestnut trees that adore most big parks in Sofia, some of the central avenues of the city and the green spots in residential areas too. They are our capital’s lungs and provide clean air and a cool shade in summer. The trees serve as a home for many insects, and birds. Have you noticed that in the past ten years or so the leaves of the horse chestnut trees turn brown and fall off as early as June? Well, we have the horse-chestnut leaf miner to thank for that. It is a small moth that destroys the leaves of the trees. It is an invasive species and the only confirmed enemies it has in Bulgarian nature so far are the tits – well-known nature cleaners and grooms of trees. For a day a single tit can eat its own weight in insects. In the period when they raise their chicks, parent tits can ‘exterminate’ several hundred kilos of insects!

© Sv. Spasov/Great tits

Winter feeding of birds

There is a way for us to make winter easier for all the extraordinary ordinary bird species that live in our midst. And we’ve been doing it for more than 10 years already with the Seed of Love campaign.

Everybody can join the initiative, regardless of where they live. You simply need to set up a bird feeder, keep it well-stocked and thus you’ll help your feathered neighbours survive in the days when the ground is in the grasp of snow and ice.

© Yordan Hristov/Sparrow
© Sv. Spasov

Why do we feed the birds in winter?

Many of the birds that we all know – tits, woodpeckers, sparrows, robins, jays, etc., – spend the winter in Bulgaria. During the winter they find it hard to survive, in particular when it snows. Then they welcome any additional energy sources to help them keep warm. We can help by providing a handful of seeds. By putting bird feeders on the balcony at home, in the park or in the green spot in front of the block of flats, at the place we work, we give the birds a seed of love.

© Sv. Spasov

How can I join?

1. Make a bird feeder.You can make your own bird feeder from a plastic bottle. Put it on your balcony, in the garden or in the nearby park. Keep it stocked with sunflower seeds but do not forget – they need to be raw and unsalted!
Sunflower seeds are the best and most accessible food for passerines that spend the winter in Bulgaria.

© Sevdalina Katsarova/Great tits

2. Pass the idea on. Share it with friends, tell a story in the social media, give a feeder to a friend as a gift, organize a workshop in the pre-school or in the primary school of your kids. You know better how to disseminate the idea and help it find new followers. When we are many, the change is great! Every seed we give to the birds is a seed of love!

Give a seed of love in the cold winter days!

© Sevdalina Katsarova/Great tits

After you’ve placed your feeder and stocked it with seeds, take the time to register it on this interactive map. Feedback is very valuable to us. The map is the only way to know how many people look after the birds by feeding them in winter, and in which cities. This will help us be more successful in our initiative.