Puddle Fact: Birds have hollow bones which is why its easy for them to fly.
Feeding our British birds in winter
A Nurturing Tradition
Winter in the United Kingdom brings about chilly temperatures and shorter days, which can be harsh on our feathered friends. During these colder months, food sources become scarce, and survival becomes more challenging for the UK's diverse bird population. However, with a bit of effort and knowledge, you can provide a lifeline for these birds by feeding them in your garden. In this blog, we'll delve into the importance of feeding UK birds in winter, the types of birds you can attract, and some valuable tips for a successful winter bird feeding experience.
The Significance of Winter Bird Feeding
Survival in Harsh Conditions
As temperatures drop and natural food sources dwindle, many birds struggle to find enough nourishment to sustain themselves. Feeding birds during the winter helps them maintain their energy levels and stay warm.
Conservation and Biodiversity
Bird feeders can play a vital role in the conservation of certain species. In the UK, some birds, like the house sparrow and starling, have experienced significant declines in their populations. Providing food in winter can aid their survival.
Feeding birds is an excellent way to engage children and adults alike in nature. Observing different bird species and learning about their behaviours and needs can be both educational and enjoyable.
Birds You Can Attract
Robins are one of the most iconic UK garden birds. They enjoy mealworms, suet, and fruit. Their friendly disposition makes them a favourite among bird enthusiasts.
These tiny birds are known for their vibrant blue and yellow plumage. They love peanuts, suet, and sunflower seeds.
Similar in size to blue tits, great tits are also frequent visitors to bird feeders. They enjoy a variety of seeds and suet.
With their striking red faces and vibrant yellow feathers, goldfinches are a delight to watch. They are particularly fond of niger seeds.
House sparrows and tree sparrows are often seen in UK gardens. They eat a variety of seeds and will appreciate a well-stocked feeder.
Blackbirds are omnivorous and enjoy a mix of fruits, suet, and mealworms. They often forage on the ground, so consider placing food both in feeders and on the ground.
Tips for Successful Winter Bird Feeding
Choose the Right Feeder
Different bird species have different feeding preferences. Providing a variety of feeders, such as hanging feeders, ground trays, and suet cages, can cater to a wide range of birds.
Quality Bird Food
Invest in high-quality bird food. Look for seed mixes specifically designed for the UK's birds, and avoid offerings that contain too many fillers.
Keep It Clean
Regularly clean your feeders and feeding areas to prevent the spread of disease among the birds. Wash feeders with warm, soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and let them air dry.
Ensure there is a source of fresh water for the birds to drink and bathe. You can use a bird bath heater to keep the water from freezing.
Establish a consistent feeding routine. Birds quickly learn to rely on your feeders, so it's essential to maintain a steady supply of food throughout the winter.
Protection from Predators
Position your feeders in a way that provides cover for birds to escape from predators like cats. Thorny bushes or shrubs nearby can offer additional protection.
Puddle Round Up
Feeding UK birds in winter is a wonderful tradition that not only aids in their survival but also allows you to connect with nature from the comfort of your own home. By providing nourishment during the colder months, you're contributing to the conservation of these beautiful creatures and fostering biodiversity in your garden. So, as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, consider setting up a bird feeder, and let the delightful sight of birds visiting your garden warm your heart throughout the winter season.