Heatwave Ready: Leave muddy puddles in gardens to help birds keep cool 

With summer just around the corner, and heatwaves already predicted, the RSPB is urging Brits to consider leaving 'mud pies' in their gardens to help birds keep cool.

The Met Office predicts a heatwave in many parts of the UK, spanning nine days from 5-13 May.

This happens to coincide with the time that many migratory birds return to their homes, here in the UK.

Many of these birds - including house martins and swifts - have flown thousands of miles from their wintering grounds in more southerly, warmer countries.

Unfortunately, recent research has shown that these birds have seen sharp declines in numbers over the last two decades – in some cases, by more than 50 per cent.

In fact, house martins and swifts recently jumped from green to red on the conservation list, according to the RSPB.

With numbers already dwindling, the RSPB is calling on Britons to take action to help migratory birds from home.

Charlotte Ambrose, a wildlife advisor at RSPB, said: 'Now is as good a time as ever to help the wildlife near you.

'Whether from your garden, balcony, or local greenspace, taking a few simple steps to give the nature on your doorstep a helping hand this spring can really give birds such as swifts, swallows and house martins the boost they need as they grace our skies once more.'