Tips for Feeding Wild Birds in Winter
Posted on November 01, 2017
We all love our garden birds here at Teign Trees & Landscapes, they bring colour and movement to our gardens and are often very entertaining! As we observe the birds we see their different habits and ways of eating, playing and even possession as territories are defended and fought for!
Looking after our feathered friends can be fulfilling and pleasurable, and in return for all of the pleasure they bring we need to ensure that we return the favour, and that we look after them at their time of need.
Winter is a hard time for birds as natural food becomes scarce. The last berries are off the trees, fruit has gone mouldy on the ground and seeds have been eaten. When the ground gets cold, insects burrow in deep, and in times of frost the ground is so hard they are inaccessible for the birds, which is why – for ground-feeding birds in particular – it’s a pretty hard time of year.
But for all birds winter is a time when good sources of food and of water can actually be the difference between life and death. In really harsh times shelter also becomes an issue. So this is why we need to look after our feathered friends and keep them well-fed, warm and cosy at this time of year.
So what can you do? Here are some top tips from the Teign Trees Crew..
• Firstly make sure you have plenty of food sources available – ensure that it’s not just in hangers but also on tables or trays at which ground feeding birds such as thrushes, blackbirds, starlings and other songbirds can feed. Leave some leaves around on the ground where they can rummage for insects when temperature allows. Check out this post from the Sainsbury's Money Matters team on how to build an easy bird feeder.
• Make sure you vary the types of food available – use different products for different birds, and add to the mixes using fresh fruit and high protein products such as suet for hangers and floor feeders to make sure they get the nutrients they need.
• Make sure there is plenty of water available – in winter fresh, available water can be in short supply!
• Provide cover where possible – robin boxes and wood piles can provide temporary respite from the cold weather.
• Keep it all topped up – a bird does not store energy well – although we do see the occasional fat robin, mostly it’s puffed up feathers! Most birds feed each day, and if a meal is missed this can quickly lead to sickness.
Even in winter by feeding the birds well you can attract many birds to the garden, and you may even see some more unusual ones such as woodpeckers and fieldfares.
Book your Tree & Hedge Work Soon..
If you have tree and hedge work that needs tackling before the Spring/Summer it really is time to get it booked in and sorted before our feathered friends start making their home.
We at Teign Trees always do a site check before we start a new project and if we find an active nest we down tools and the job is postponed until the nest is empty and unused. At times it can be a difficult to balance tree work that needs to be done with a nest that could be used for a large portion of the year for raising chicks and also for roosting, that's why we advise booking in early to avoid any delays.
One of our recommendations if you have hedges or trees that need regular or seasonal pruning but you tend to forget to get them booked in, is to speak to a member of our team in the office, 01626 773499, to arrange for us to give you a call out of nesting season to arrange your tree and hedge work.
So return the favour this winter and make sure you look after the birds in your garden, then in the summer they’ll repay you with a spectacle of colour and song!