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 (we never know), 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.
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 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. If you need any storage bins, we have these available for you in 2 styles which can be found here and here.
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. We stock everything here at Brinvale to keep for feeders ad stations in the best hygienic way they can be, take a look here.
Look to the Future
Another way in which to prepare for having potential wild bird residents in your garden is by siting nest boxes 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 making them more likely to use them as nesting sites.
When siting nest boxes, 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, which is out of direct sunlight and,
if possible, north-east facing.