Guess who's coming to dinner?
Feed the birds this winter. It's more important than you might think.
Bird tables are an excellent idea as they allow the birds to feed away from hunting cats. You can put a tray on the ground for ground feeders like dunnocks and thrushes but these birds will often wait at the foot of bird tables anyway for bits of food that are knocked off by the birds above. Site your bird table close to, or on, a tree if possible so that the birds can queue on the branches. If you don't have a tree nearby, you can set up some posts and perches and put your table away from bushes where cats might be hiding. If you want to do a spot of bird watching, make sure you can see the table from a window.
You can buy bird tables from garden centres or you can make one yourself. If you do make your own, ensure there are no sharp edges or nails sticking out. As well as the bird table, you can hang peanut and seed feeders or fat balls.
Water is important too - for drinking and for maintaining plumage. In cold weather, go out and break the ice in bird baths. You need to clean your bird bath frequently to avoid build up of algae.
Try to provide a wide choice of food that will suit a good variety of birds. Here's a selection of foods to offer on your menu:
Once you start feeding the birds, it's only fair to keep doing so all the way through winter. As the weather warms up, you can gradually decrease the amount of food you offer. It's best to stop feeding hard foods like seeds and peanuts during the time that parent birds are feeding their young because seeds etc. may choke fledglings. You can still help parents birds by buying maggots or mealworms from your local fishing shop and putting these out in tubs. If you can't stomach the idea of maggots, other animal fats like bacon rind and suet will do.
Submit a Site
Write for Us