Winter can be a difficult time for wildlife. Temperatures plummet and food becomes difficult to find. Insect-eating birds turn to alternative foods, some species travel far and wide, and foraging behaviour adapts, but we can lend a helping hand by providing a welcome source of extra food for birds to turn to in leaner times.
What to feed
Different birds are attracted to certain foods, often reflecting their special adaptations for natural food types.
Offer a variety of tempting morsels to maximise your bird table’s wow factor.
- Goldfinch, siskin, redpoll – smaller seeds like Niger seed
- Greenfinch, tits – sunflower hearts
- Sparrows, woodpigeon, collared dove – large grains
- Woodpeckers, tits, starling – fat balls and peanuts
- Robin, thrushes – mealworms and live foods
- Thrushes, waxwing – windfall fruit
Keep it up
Once you start feeding birds, try to keep regular in your topping up habits. While most visitors will adapt and move to new feeding grounds when natural food gradually runs out, a sudden drop off in feeding puts them on the hop. In winter when alternative food sources are already scarce, this could mean the difference between life and death for some. Scrub your bird feeders regularly with hot soapy water and give them a good rinse. Sweep away any accumulations of droppings or spilled seeds and keep feeders free of wet or mouldy foods. Providing clean, fresh water alongside food is very important, particularly for seed specialists such as finches. They need to drink regularly to counterbalance their dry diet – all that seed grinding is thirsty work.
We have lots of seed and feeders in stock if you need any advice we are happy to help. Pop in or call 01636821232 for click and collect or postage.