Winter Feeding - What We Can Expect in 2018

With the colder weather approaching we are looking at how our garden birds will get on in the 2018/19 winter after a year of extreme weather.

                                                                               

The Hot Summer

 

It seems a fair while ago now but back in the summer we were enduring a fairly lengthy drought! Its no wonder either with the longest run of hot and dry weather since 1976. Between May and July, the met office reported less than 1mm of rain in 6 of its rain gauges and large portions of the country receiving far less than 10% of the usual amount of rain during this period.

The effect this was having on the majority of the UK is up for question but the effect on our wildlife was not up for debate. The B.T.O (British Trust for Ornithology) warned that the droughts "mean reduced access to earthworms for such birds as Blackbirds and Robins." As a result, these birds were having to look elsewhere to meet their usual dietary requirements. As well as treating us by feeding from our feeders in our gardens all the more, these birds had to find extra, alternative food supplies. Which they found in natural fruits and berries.

 

Birds ate a larger than usual amount of berries over the summer. 

The Diet

 

The protein in these worms plays an important part in a bird’s diet, especially when birds are young and growing! Although research suggests that fats and sugars might be even more vital. Fats and sugars can be found in fruit and suet which becomes increasingly more necessary in the winter months. Especially, as these types of foods allow birds to keep warm.

There is a problem on the horizon though, as the weather turns colder berries would be a natural food choice for many wild birds. As they are a natural source of the sugars needed to stay warm. However, when the birds couldn’t get their mealworms earlier in the year, they ate all the berries that would usually last throughout until the spring. So the food we lay out in our gardens is going to become even more vitally important this winter.

 

What can we Expect This Winter?

 

Expect to see more varieties of birds in your garden soon, like the fieldfare pictured above.

As the weather gets colder, we usually expect increased competition at the feeders. Due to the birds relying more and more heavily on the food we put out for them. Especially when extra birds such as fieldfares come from their more usual rural habitats into our gardens. Therefore, this winter we would recommend feeding high energy bird foods like suet to make up for the lack of natural food supplies for our feathered friends!

This is why over the coming winter months we will be having some great offers on our suet range to try and help as many birds as we can! This month you can buy 12 mixed suet feasts for £7.95 instead of the usual £11.95! This offer is available in your basket when you spend a minimum of £15 on the rest of your order.

 

This article was written by Andy Wiles. If you have any questions or queries about the article you can email contact Andy by email on info@brinvale.com