Winter Bird Care

Posted on: January 3rd, 2018 by Stone Cross Garden Centre No Comments

Our essential guide for attracting our feathered friends into your garden during the winter months!

Birds are at their most vulnerable in the winter months. The harsh cold weather, frozen ground and water all mean that they require more energy to keep warm. There are many things you can do to help them. This is the double energy boost. You can boost the birds with high energy food giving them energy making it more likely they will make it through to spring. They will in turn return time and time again to your garden giving it a vision of life, energy and a focal point during the colder months of the year when there is less in flower to delight the eyes in the garden. In spring and summer birds can also be helpful in eating insects and garden pests. They can also be annoying eating fruit growing on your trees.

Here are our tips for attracting birds to your garden:

1. BE PATIENT: It will take time for birds to discover new feeding locations so do not become despondent if you do not attract birds straight away. You will also attract different numbers of birds at different times of the year due to the levels of bird migration and natural food sources available.

2. SITING FEEDERS: Birds will only go to feeders where they feel safe. Feeders should ideally be only 2 metres from a tree or tall shrub. They want to have clear sight of the garden so they can easily fly to cover if they feel unsafe.

3. FOODS: Site a range of feeders in your garden containing different foods as this will attract a wider range of birds. Our stocked food includes:

a. The Every Day Seed Mix that will be adored by the House Sparrow, Blue Tit and Chaffinch

b. The High Energy No Mess Seed Mix that will attract Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Reed Bunting

c. The Robin Mix will appeal to the Robin, Blue Tit, Chiff Chaff, Blackbird, Great Tit and Goldcrest

d. Sunflower hearts are liked by Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow and Robin

e. Peanuts are suitable for the Blackbird, Siskin, Nuthatch, Great Tit, House Sparrow and Great Spotted Woodpecker

f. The Wild Feeder Mix is an attraction for the Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Pied Wagtail and Tree Sparrow

g. The Ground Mix will provide nourishment for Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer and Tree Sparrow

h. The Everyday No Mess Seed Mix will encourage Siskin, Blue Tit and Great Tit to your feeders

i. Nyjer Seed will be sort out by Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail and Siskin

j. The table Mix will be appreciated by the House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Wren, Robin, Marsh Tit and Long Tailed Tit

k. Starlings by contrast are very unfussy and will eat almost anything

l. Suet fat balls are a high energy treat that is particularly popular with a wide range of birds in the winter months. These can also be appreciated in the spring when birds have their young to feed

m. Planting shrubs, trees and climbers with berries such as Holly, Cotoneaster and Rowan can also attract birds

4. CLEANLINESS: Keep your bird table and feeders clean. If you put out more than a day’s food you encourage rats carrying diseases and the unused food will become mouldy which in turn can allow bacteria and parasites to develop. Dirty bird feeders and tables can spread disease as bird droppings mix with food. This is the opposite result of what you are trying to achieve when feeding birds in your garden.

5. PETS: You should not put feeders where pets can attack the birds. For example if you have a cat, ground feeders would not be sensible as the cat could lay in wait and attack a visiting bird.

6. WATER: Birds need to drink and wash every day. This means that it is important to open up frozen bird baths daily. Ideally you should change the water daily in summer as droppings can accumulate and cause water to become contaminated.

Follow these simple tips and you could be enjoying the delights of feathered friends visiting your garden all year round.