Once the last fruits of autumn are gone, the insects have gone to ground and the cold weather sets in, many wild birds face a difficult struggle for survival. It’s time to give them a helping hand while the cold weather bites and leave out some wild bird food.
As humans encroach further and further into the countryside, wild birds continue to lose much of their traditional habitats and food sources so it’s vital that we help them out by feeding through the tougher months.
High energy foods like nuts, seeds and insect meal will be snapped up by most birds. Pieces of apple are loved by robins and blackbirds and fat balls (bird seeds mixed with solid lard or suet) will give your garden birds a high energy, nutritious treat. Many birds, such as visiting Waxwings, will feast on berries in the garden so hold back on cutting hedges which still have plenty of fruit on.
If you like to buy your wild bird food in bulk then try our 15 kg bag of Versele-Laga Terrace Mix Bird Food, a high quality food which contains no seed husks, reducing the amount of mess left by birds which is great if you feed on a terrace or balcony. Foods containing whole peanuts should not be fed during the nesting season as it’s possible they may choke young birds – use crushed peanuts instead.
Our Trixie Natura Bird House with Stand will make an attractive addition to any garden while also providing birds with their vital winter food under the shelter of the wooden roof overhang.
Make sure you don’t accidentally expose birds to predators by choosing the wrong spot for your bird house or feeder. Hanging feeders should be well out of the reach of cats and it’s also important not to place them too far into the open as this may leave smaller birds vulnerable to birds of prey. If you feed on the ground, don’t put too much out at a time as any leftovers may encourage vermin.
Wild birds need regular access to water for drinking and bathing so leave a shallow bowl of water in your garden as well as the food. To stop the water freezing over when the temperature drops, you can take the kettle out and pour hot water on the bath or try popping a small ball in like a ping pong ball which will move around and stop the whole bowl freezing over.
If you are lucky enough to have hedgehogs visit your garden, here are a few ideas for how to help them survive the winter.
Sectioning off a part of your garden and piling up dead leaves and bits of wood will encourage them to build a shelter for hibernation or you could buy a speical hedgehog shelter like the Willow Igloo for Hedgehogs, a cosy nest which can be pegged into the ground to ensure stability. Hedgehogs will appreciate a bowl of meat based pet food as well as a bowl of water.