The impact of removing trees and hedgerows and building in the countryside has had a major impact on birds' natural food sources and it particularly noticeable during the winter months.

Blue Tit Eating Suet

Although rowan, hawthorn and yews may look as though they are abundant with berries there isn't enough to go round. More and more birds rely on humans to supply extra food to them during the cold weather and are venturing into more urban errors to find this food.

There are a number of different types of food you can feed birds either putting on tables or in feeders or you can scatter some on the ground or in special trays for ground feeders.

Seed mixes are nutrient rich and can be specially formulated for one species or you can buy more general mixes that will attract all types of bird. Niger seed is becoming more popular in the UK because it attracts goldfinches and people appreciate their colourful displays as they flock to the feeders.

Make sure you buy your seed mix from a reputable supplier and use seed mixes for wild birds rather than caged or aviary birds.

Animal fat such as suet is an excellent treat for birds in the winter as gives them an instant energy boost as well as allowing birds to build up a fat reserve to see them through the freezing nights.You can make your own fat feeders by filling old plastic containers such as yoghurt pots or drinks bottles with a mixture of suet, seeds and dried fruit or you can buy special fat balls or suet blocks from bird food suppliers.

Do not use hooks or nets when hanging your fat feeders as they can be harmful to birds if they get caught up in them.

Don't throw away your kitchen scraps but put them out for birds. They will eat unsalted bacon, mild cheese, soaked dried fruit, cooked rice and nuts. In winter it is fine to put out whole nuts as there are no fledglings about who could choke on them.

It is also important that you put out fresh supplies of water in the winter as birds' usual sources may be frozen over. You may see birds splashing about in the water but don't worry about them getting cold. As well as water for drinking they need it for cleaning themselves.

Check that your bird bath's water hasn't frozen in the night and you can add a bird friendly disinfectant to it to prevent the spread of disease.

Feeding birds can encourage rats so whichever food you choose to put out for birds make sure that you keep feeding areas clean. Sweep up old food and use a scraper to remove dried food and droppings from your bird table.

By feeding birds during the winter you will not only be doing your bit for conservation but you will have the pleasure of seeing many birds visit your garden at a time of year when gardens can be quite dull.

About British Bird Lovers


It's Good To Talk

For More Inspiration

Facebook   Twitter  Pinterest  Flickr  Instagram

Bird Curiosity - Bird Art Blog

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites
We use cookies to provide you with a better user experience, analyse site traffic and serve targeted ads.
More information Ok