Winter feeding tips for the birds in your garden
Birds need the same things in winter as they do in summer even though their eating habits and patterns might change.
Help your local wildlife thrive even in winter by taking the time to incorporate some winter feeding tips into your routine.
Notice your wildlife
Different types of birds prefer different foods, so take the time to notice who frequently visits your garden and then vary their diet accordingly. Tits like fat, while sparrows and finches will continue to prefer seeds. Birds like thrushes and robins like fruit and worms. Starlings will eat most foods.
Use your Christmas leftovers
Some of your leftovers from Christmas also work well for birds in the garden. Items like apples and pears that are past their best are perfect for birds, as are small pieces of fruit cake, and even mince pies. Unsalted nuts will also be welcome. For birds like wrens and dunnocks, try sprinkling some grated mild cheese under trees and bushes.
But avoid turkey fat
While many birds like fat, leftover Turkey fat from your Christmas lunch can be harmful. The soft fat will stick to their feathers, which will get in the way of them staying warm and dry.
Go little by little
Only lay out food enough that can reasonably be eaten in a day – otherwise you’ll also end up encouraging unwanted visitors like rats. Regularly refilling bird feeders and putting out leftovers is the best way to look after your local wildlife.
Don’t forget water
Even in freezing temperatures birds still need to bathe themselves each day, but access to water can be harder for them to find in the coldest winter months when small ponds and bird baths freeze over. A saucer of water – even water in an upturned bin lid! – can provide them with what they need.
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