Here in the middle of Europe many of us will have been greeted by a fresh blanket of white snow when we looked out the window this morning, nice and fresh and clean it all looks but for the birds out there in the garden, parks and woods its a long perilous journey to try to survive the winter. So as deep winter sets in, put out food and water for the birds on a regular basis, and in severe cold spells try to feed morning and early afternoon.
During these cold winter months birds require high-energy (high fat) foods to maintain their fat reserves and give them abundant energy to survive the bitterly cold nights. It's not only seeds, nuts and kitchen scraps that birds require, fresh water is essential. Keep water bowls full of clean water and make sure water containers are well away from bushes or other areas where a cat could launch an attack.
Many garden birds die each year through the transmission of diseases. Always adjust the quantity of feed given to the demand and never allow uneaten food to accumulate in the feeders and tables. It's also important to clean bird feeders regularly with water and allow them to dry before refilling.
When the snow is deep try to stamp or shovel the snow away from underneath the feeders to allow ground feeding birds to have an advantage taking the scraps fallen from the feeders.
Raisins and sultanas, sunflower seeds, whole grains, linseed, millet, hemp, ground peanuts and walnuts. All available in well stocked garden and pet shops. Apples, pears and other soft fruits are popular and provide a great vitamin boost for blackbirds and thrushes. Small diced cubes of cheese and peanut butter are also great supplement for many garden birds.
What could be nicer than a garden or forest with many different birds this winter. Enjoy the endless spectacle of nature even in this freezing time of the year.
1st December 2018.