Blackbirds, Thrushes and Robins are among the birds relying on Britain’s army of animal lovers for food once autumn berries have been eaten and insects become scarce due to the cold.

Gavin Warburton, senior pet food buyer at Tesco, said: “Britain is famous for being a nation of animal lovers and Brits’ kindness in helping out our feathered friends during the harshest winter for over 50 years is remarkable.

“Just as in the old song from the film Mary Poppins people have literally rallied round to ‘feed the birds’.

“Bird feed sales always go up by about 30 per cent in the winter months but to see such a dramatic rise so quickly really shows a real kindness of spirit.”

Tesco reported the increase in sales during the last two weeks, compared to the previous snow less two weeks and is increasing supplies amid predictions of more extreme weather conditions.