Have you ever wondered how birds (and other wildlife) survive out there in the freezing weather?

Some birds migrate to warmer places (like Africa) to keep warm and find enough food – but what of the ones that stay behind; what do they do?

Grow a winter coat:

Birds develop a thick downy undercoat that they fluff up and use to cover their legs and faces.  They shiver to keep the blood flowing warmly.  They keep this coat in tip top condition using the natural oils from their skin and free from dirt and lice etc.

SBS Willow Tit

Shelter:

Hide from the wind and rain, hunkering down in sheltered spots or even using nesting boxes.  They will also soak up the warmth from any sunny spots they can find.

Eat well:

Birds need to eat lots of high energy, fat rich foods to keep their little bodies warm and healthy.  Supplemental feeding is often essential for birds to survive winter.  Some birds are clever at storing food to use over the winter months.

Here is a helpful mini-documentary on how birds survive the cold:


How can you help?

Provide a wide range of habitat; including evergreen trees and shrubs, sheltered areas and clean nest boxes with fresh bedding available if they want it.

Provide food; high fat, protein and vitamin content foods like nuts, seeds and mealworms – even grated cheese, porridge oats or a mixture of these made into a pastry can be fantastic help to birds and other wildlife.

Try our special robin mix

Flyback Robin mix

Provide water; birds still need to drink, although they will probably wash less in winter.  Offer clean, unfrozen, shallow water.

 

Read our full winter guide here