With cold weather on the horizon and the winter months drawing ever closer, it is important to be
prepared for the inevitable influx of wild birds that will look to you for sustenance between autumn and spring.
Because of this, we have listed our top four things to keep in mind when planning to feed wild birds through winter.
Feed High Energy Foods
With the weather hitting colder temperatures, and the possibility of snow, it is important to feed the right foods. When the weather gets colder birds use more energy to keep warm so it is vital that they eat more to replace this extra energy. Therefore it makes sense for them to eat food with the highest energy concentration in them as otherwise, they are likely to be eating all day!
Foods like sunflower hearts and suet have the highest density of energy per gram, so feed these as straights or within mixes where possible! Our high energy mix (featured above) is the perfect blend of these ingredients.
Bearing in mind that at the first sign of very cold weather wild birds will almost immediately flock to gardens to get their food, it is important to make sure that a sudden rush of dining birds in your garden does not leave you with empty feeders and hungry birds. The best way to avoid this situation is by planning ahead and buying your bird food in bulk.
Bulk buying won’t only cover you for any surges of hungry bird visits, it is also likely to cost you less per kilo than buying food in smaller bags, which will actually save you money in the long run and as long as your bird food is kept in the right conditions (a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight) it will have a very long shelf life, often keeping its freshness for up to twelve months.
Keep an eye out for our free gift this month included with all orders over £20 and our special basket offer. This month you can get 5kg of peanuts for just £7.95, just spend £20 on your order to trigger the offer at the basket (the offer will look like the picture above)!
Keep it Clean
Whilst providing the right kind of food for wild birds is important, it can potentially cause them harm if it is fed from dirty or contaminated feeders. It is recommended that feeders, tables and bird baths are cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the spread of disease and bacteria amongst garden birds.
The cleaning and sanitising of these items is even more important when planning ahead for winter. This is because between August and September bird feeders and tables can be neglected by garden birds; this allows them to stagnate and encourages bacteria and other harmful organisms to multiply.
The simplest way to prevent these organisms from spreading through your garden habitat is to use an anti-bacterial cleaning spray which is safe for use with animals in conjunction with a stiff-bristled brush. Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of your wild bird products the rest of your preparation is fairly simple.
Look to the Future
Another way in which to prepare for having potential wild bird residents in your garden is by siting nest boxes or roosting pouches early. This will provide any local wild birds with potential warm shelters in which to roost in the cold winter months as well as giving them time to become used to the boxes and pouches making them more likely to use them as nesting sites.
When siting nest boxes or roosting pouches it is important to put them in the right place; the ideal position for placement of a nesting box is between 1.5 and 5.5m above the ground, in a sheltered shaded spot, out of the prevailing wind. This should be north and east out of direct sunlight and preferably facing south.