Like us humans, birds also prefer a bit of variation in their food. It is becoming more and more strenuous for birds to find nutritious food, especially in winter. But we can help wild birds find their food in our gardens. In this blog, we will give you some tips on how and what to feed wild birds in your garden, this coming winter.
Why is it important to help wild birds in winter?
Birds will appreciate the extra food left scattered in your garden, no matter the season. But especially in the winter, when the soil is frozen, and insects are more difficult to pick, it is important to help the birds a little. And don’t forget that during winter time, the days are a bit shorter, giving the birds less time to find their food during the day. And just like us humans, birds need that bit of extra nutritious energy to keep warm.
How to feed birds in the garden?
- A newly planted garden is not appealing to wild birds from the start. Don’t worry and think you’ll never welcome birds in your garden. It can take some time before birds recognize your garden as a safe space. Scatter some seeds around the garden to slowly allow birds to come and enjoy their meal.
- Make sure that every feeding place has an escape route. Birds are often shy and quite scared of other animals around them. Giving them a quick escape will allow them to feel safer and eat in peace.
- Do not overfeed. You might buy bird food in bulk packaging. This is perfect for a year-round supply but do not use all that food at once. Only scatter the amount of food enough for one day. Too much food around the garden can also invite other animals, such as mice, to come into your garden.
- Once you have selected or created the perfect feeding spot, you want to make sure that there is a returning supply of food all winter long. A bird loses a lot of its energy from flying from garden to garden. Making sure the supply of food is steady not only allow birds to continue their journey but also invites them back to your garden.
- Feed birds at a fixed hour. This way, birds will know when to stop by your garden. We advise you to put the food out in the early morning or late afternoon. Birds need that heavy breakfast of a big supper after a long and cold flight.
What kind of bird food should I give?
As explained before, birds need a lot of extra energy and nutrition during winter. Make sure the food you provide is high in fats. We advise you to put out food such as fat balls, peanut butter or coconuts. Or simply check the packaging of the bird food in our garden centre and make sure the amount of fat is at a high percentage.
Other than food that’s lacking, is water. When there's snow on the ground, you'll see birds picking at it. They do this to get a sip of water. Place some small bowls of water around the garden to help the birds find their water supply. Tip: add a cube of sugar to the water to prevent it from freezing up.