View Full Version : Feeding birds in your garden

01-08-2010, 12:50 PM

With the cold snowy weather here in the UK and other places, try to remember to feed the birds. They are struggling to find natural sources of food at this time of year - when most seeds and berries from the autumn have gone.

Here is some advice from the RSPB:

When temperatures fall below freezing, our birds struggle to find the food they need to survive the winter in healthy condition, vital for breeding in spring.

Natural food is covered in snow and ice and impossible to get to. Water birds may be forced to leave iced-over lakes and rivers. The ground becomes too hard for birds like thrushes and lapwings to probe, and natural food like berries, acorns and seeds is buried.

During cold snaps like this current one, birds are more likely to come into our gardens to seek sanctuary. People can help improve birds' chances of survival through these cold periods by providing food like meal worms, fatballs, crushed peanuts, dried fruit and seeds and grain.


1. Put out feed regularly, especially in severe weather. Set up a bird table and use high calorie seed mixes. This can also be used to put out kitchen scraps such as animal fats, grated cheese and porridge oats.

2.Put out hanging feeders for black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes or unsalted peanuts.

3.Ensure a supply of fresh water every day. If it is very cold use tepid water but DO NOT use any antifreeze products.

4.Put out fruit, such as apples and pears, for blackbirds, song thrushes and other members of the thrush family.

5.Food bars or fat hung up or rubbed into the bark of trees is a great help for treecreepers, goldcrests and many other species.

6.Put up nest boxes to provide roost sites for the smaller birds. They will then be used for breeding later in the year.

Leftovers from Christmas or New Year meals can also provide a welcome boost for wildlife - cake crumbs, pastry and cheese are all readily eaten by wild birds.

People may also notice a change in the behaviour of birds given the extreme conditions. You may witness a flurry of activity first thing in the morning – as birds replenish energy lost overnight - and last thing in the afternoon - to prepare for the long night ahead.

Go on, show those little birdies some love! :statisfie

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