Birds are currently suffering from a lack of food because of the dry soil caused by Europe’s warmer than usual summer.

The Association for Bird and Wildlife Conservation in Zurich said: “Unfortunately, we have had extremely starved birds in the last few weeks; there are fewer insects”.

"Due to the heat, worms and insects are moving deeper into the ground. To get them back to normal, a longer rain phase is needed because of the many dried plants. The birds are also struggling to find seeds and grains," the sanctuary said.

"Their natural water sources such as ponds have dried up and there are hardly any puddles left"

Particularly affected are species such as blackbirds and song thrush.

blackbird

"They are so weak, that they cannot fly anymore. This also makes them easy prey for cats," they said. “We have noticed a striking tendency of starving birds on the nursing station this summer. This is usually the case in winter."

"If a bird does not fly for a long time, they are attacked by parasites, which often transmit diseases, which additionally weakens the animal and usually leads to death."

A spokesperson from the RSPB said that it has been focusing on reactive measures during the UK heatwave, explaining that the public can assist during hotter periods by leaving a dish of water outside.

Temperatures soared across Europe this summer, reaching a record of 46 degrees Celcius in central Portugal last month. Wildfires tore through parts of Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and even Sweden, raging as far north as the Arctic Circle.

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