Winter Feeding the birds in your Garden
Why should you try Winter Feeding the birds in your Garden and what you should feed them and how! A complete guide to what to do to help the birds this winter.
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Why I do it
- Because thanks to trees and forest being cut down they have less food
- It stops them eating my veggies
- It is a nice thing to do
Best Winter Bird Feeders.
Feeders should be
- Covered to Protect Seed
Fly-through platform feeders are especially good designs for winter bird feeding. The cover should extend several inches over the edge of the feeder to ensure protection from all but the most serious storms.away.
- Placed for Good Shelter
Ideally, winter bird feeders should be placed in sheltered locations out of the most severe winds. Placing feeders closer to the house will be effective and will help keep the birds visible for indoor bird watching. At the same time, feeders should be placed near protective cover such as hedges to offer birds safety from predators. To minimize window collisions, place feeders no more than five feet away from a wall or window, and use window clings or other techniques to help birds avoid the glass.
- Cleaned to Protect Birds
Because natural food sources are scarcer in the winter, more birds may be attracted to backyard feeders and those feeders will need to be cleaned and sterilized regularly. Keeping your feeds clean will minimize mould, mildew and other unhealthy conditions that could foster disease among backyard bird populations. When cleaning, discard soggy seed or seed encased in ice, and let the feeder dry before refilling if possible. Be sure to wipe down perches, poles and other parts of the feeder as well.
Foods for Birds in Winter
Most birds that visit backyards in snowy weather thrive on seeds since insects and fruit are harder to find naturally during the winter. The best foods to feed the birds in winter have a high fat or oil content that will provide lots of energy for winter survival. Nutritious winter foods for birds include:
- Black oil sunflower seed
- Hulled peanuts or peanut hearts
- Nyjer (thistle) seed
- Suet mixed with seeds or fruit
- Peanut butter
- White millet seed
When choosing birdseed and other foods for winter feeding, take into consideration which bird species are present in the winter and what foods they prefer to avoid excess wasted seed.
How to get and Store your bird seed
It is best to stock up on birdseed, now Lidl has some in. Or in Autumn as they clear up stock for winter. Stored properly, seed can easily last for months, particularly seed mixes and sunflower seeds.
To properly store seed, it should be kept in a cool, dry place that is protected from bugs and rodents. Choose a storage bin that will be easy to access all winter and one that can be easily used while wearing gloves and bulky coats. Have a large scoop on hand to easily refill feeders, and you’ll use more seed than you realize to satisfy a birds’ winter appetites and you’ll be glad you had the extra storage.
Pests and Predators
Just as food is scarce for birds in the winter, it is also scarce for squirrels, mice, rats, stray cats and other backyard pests and predators. Steps can be taken, however, to safeguard feeding stations and provide birds with the security to return to the feeders throughout the winter.
- You can get Special feeders with pest repellents such as caged perches or squirrel protection. Thick plastic or metal feeders will resist chewing best.
- Position feeders several feet from natural cover where birds can hide if necessary, but not so close as to allow predators a place for an ambush.
- Consider placing temporary fencing or mesh around feeding stations to keep predators and pest wildlife away.
- Offer other food for pest animals, such as cobs of corn for squirrels, in a different location so they are less tempted to raid feeders.
More Winter Bird Feeding Tips
To make the most of feeding birds in winter…
- Clean off feeders, platforms and perches after each storm so the seed is easily accessible.
- Leave fruit and berries on trees, hedges and bushes to provide a natural source of food throughout the winter.
- For a bit of luxury add a heated birdbath to your backyard or place a safe heating element in a regular bird bath to provide birds with liquid water.
- Leave nesting boxes and bird houses up all year round to provide winter Protection.
Making your own Coconut Birdfeeders
- Coconut husks – I got mine from Lidl when they had coconut Ice-cream in them and I highly recommend the ice-cream
- Birdseed mix again from Lidl
How to bit
- Make a home in your coconut half and thread through the ribbon
- Melt the Suet in a pan
- Add the Seeds to the pan
- Fill you Coconut halves
- Allow to cool
Looking after birds will save your vegetables and bring joy and life to your garden in the miserable winter days.
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