The colder winter months are fast approaching so it is important to start thinking about your garden bird care through the winter months. A little time spent preparing now can give our garden birds the best chance of surviving another harsh winter. For extra help and advice please contact Love Garden Birds at www.lovegardenbirds.co.uk
You might already be an established bird feeder, or perhaps this is your first time preparing to care for birds over winter. Either way preparation on how and what to feed them is a great place to start.
Our garden birds each have their own taste in what they feed on as well as how they feed. Make sure you spend some time watching your garden birds to work out both who they are and what they seem to prefer as well as who else you might want to attract.
Birds such as blackbirds, collared doves and dunnocks are known mainly as ground feeders, whereas goldfinches, sparrows and blue tits much prefer a hanging feeder.
It is not just how you feed them, importantly it is what you feed them. Do you plan on using seed mixes, suet balls, peanuts, mealworms or sunflower hearts? Different birds have different food preferences with robins being known to love mealworms, and wrens enjoying peanuts. If possible, you should try to offer a few different bird food options during winter especially, to ensure a variety of species are supported.
In smaller urban gardens it may be best to have small feeders which are topped up daily with small amounts of food to avoid waste or the food freezing making it impossible for the birds to get. In larger gardens that attract more garden birds, bigger feeder that hold several days worth of feed may be more suitable.
Make sure to check the condition of your bird feeders too. Diseases can often spread within species as a result of dirty bird feeders, so make sure your feeders are kept in good condition. If you notice they could do with a clean, wash them with diluted disinfectant and warm water making sure to rinse well. This applies to your bird baths and tables too! Always wear gloves and wash your hands when handling dirty bird feeders, bird boxes, bird tables and bird baths.
Bird baths are equally important in winter as they are summer. Whilst in summer they are great for a cool down, in winter they provide a safe place for birds to drink and clean themselves. Make sure your bird baths are kept accessible throughout winter by checking they have not frozen over.
When it comes to arranging your garden for the birds make sure you place your feeders in the best place for the birds. Ideally this is somewhere close to shrubbery which provides shelter from predators and shields from harsh weather conditions. If you do have a bird bath, try to place this near your feeder however leave a few feet to stop it getting covered in bird poop too quickly. If you are planning to introduce a new type of bird food make sure you only put out a little at a time whilst they get used to it to ensure there is not excessive waste.
We would also like to thank you for helping our feathered friends this winter. It is a tough time for them, so whether you offer a variety of foods or just a single bird feeder, you are doing your part in helping our precious birds survive another winter.
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