5 Ways to Help Your Garden Birds Over Winter
From December to February natural bird food is scarce. Hard or snow-covered ground can make the usual food inaccessible to birds. This is a time when garden birds could certainly use a helping hand. Birds that manage to maintain sufficient fat stores over winter are more likely to be healthier come the spring breeding season. This means a greater number of healthy chicks being born.
Here are five ways you can help the birds in your garden during the cold winter months:
Clean Out Nest Boxes
Birds survive the colder winter months in a number of ways. Some fluff out their feathers to provide better insulation. Some birds go into a torpor, a state of reduced heart rate and body temperature that allows them to burn fewer calories. Other birds survive the coldest snaps by roosting in nest boxes. To create shelter for your garden birds, clean out nest boxes at the end of the breeding season, leaving them vacant and ready for winter visitors.
Provide Hedgerow Shelter
Some birds prefer to spend winter roosting together in hedgerows. If you have the garden space, plan ahead and do some planting. Dense privet or hawthorn hedges are a great roosting venue for garden birds. Equally, ivy and holly also provide excellent cover.
Provide More Feeders
Providing more feeders over winter makes life easier for your birds and for you – you don’t have to venture out into howling winds and driving rain to top up your feeder on a regular basis. Birds will also be able to find the food they need at this time of increased demand. Fill your feeders with winter bird seed that’s high in calories and nutrients.
Leave out Fatty Foods
Birds really enjoy fatty foods during winter months. The extra fat is nutritious and filling. It helps birds to build up their own fat reserves and gives them a big energy boost. Fat balls are the perfect option, we have a range of fat balls and high fat foods in our Fatty Box.
Create an Unfrozen Water Source
Birds don’t just struggle to find food in winter. Finding water can also be a problem as many water sources freeze in very cold weather. Check on your bird bath every day to make sure it hasn’t frozen over. If you want to go the extra mile you could invest in a solar heated birdbath that will provide unfrozen water whatever the weather.
Provide bird food, water and shelter all year round to encourage birds to your garden. But, come winter, it’s a good idea to take a little extra care of your garden visitors. The provisions you provide will stand them in good stead for surviving the colder months.
You might also like to look at our article: endangered birds and how to help them
- Nikki Boxwild
- Tags: looking after birds in winter