We know that birds and other animals can survive without our help, however this is the hardest time of year. Natural food sources are in short supply and with it being so cold, they need extra food to keep their energy levels up to stay warm. This is where you can help; we've put together a few simple ideas to try for a safe and inviting garden this winter.
Offering food that is high in protein or fat like fat balls, bacon rind (unsmoked and chopped up), cheese and sunflower hearts provide extra energy to help birds stay warm. Seeds that don’t need to be de-husked is also a great idea for feeding, as these require less time spent out in the cold to access the food.
If we have been blessed with some snowflakes, make sure to clear away patches of snow so that birds can access the soil underneath. Many birds feed on invertebrates in the soil and clearing the snow can be a small task that is very appreciated by our feathered friends.
Don’t feed birds milk, desiccated coconut, white bread, or salty foods as these are not good for their health.
For more ideas on what to feed birds click here.
An old Christmas tree, or a pile of branches and other foliage can be placed on the ground to provide shelter. Adding a sheet of plywood to serve as a wall will drastically reduce the wind. Behind the contraption, on the sheltered side you can clear the snow from the ground and either scatter seed or use ground feeders.
Evergreens are also a good source of shelter and will offer them some comfort in the cold weather. Some ornamental conifers also offer good cover, as do privets, laurels, and Pyracantha. Holly and ivy provide great cover and can be a saviour for many small birds, as well as being a welcome sight of Christmas time!
For more gardening tips, click here.
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