Winter bird care.
As I feel the chill in the air I’m conscious that our feathered friends may need a helping hand during the coming Winter months. With this in mind I have come up with a few useful tips which won’t cost much and might help our garden birds at this time of year.
For a long term plan, it is a good idea to plant some really good winter berried trees and shrubs in your garden for nesting and food. Here are some examples of trees and shrubs and the birds that eat their berries Cotoneaster-Blackbirds, Holly – Robins/Thrushes, Rowan-Fieldfares/Redwings/Waxwings, Hawthorn-Blackbirds.
Feeding stations full of high calorie foods will be a great help. Peanuts, bird seed and Fatballs are a real treat for birds. Replenish feeders with fresh seeds, nuts and fat balls regularly and if you have any apples you can cut them up and put them on the lawn to feed Blackbirds.
It is really important to provide clean water for garden birds every day during icy and snowy weather and make sure to remove ice from the water daily.
You can put up nesting boxes, these should be put in place well before breeding season as birds are searching for a nest sites from February onwards. It is recommended to put your nesting box in a quiet area attached to a tree trunk, fence or wall. Place your box facing north to south-east to avoid too much sun and wind.
Here’s a quick recipe for Fatballs that won’t cost half as much as getting them in the shop:
You’ll need some wild bird seed, dry porridge oats, sultanas, bread or cake crumbs , Lard or suet, string and some washed out yogurt pots. Use one part fat to two parts dry ingredients.
All you need to do is melt the lard or suet in a saucepan and add the dry ingredients, stir until it is all combined. Make a small hole in the pots and thread the string through. Fill the pots with fatball mixture and ensure the string is kept centered in the pot and is long enough to tie from a branch.
Put the pots in the fridge for a couple of hours until it has set then remove the pots and your fatballs are ready. The Kids love making these and it only takes a few minutes.
You’ll benefit greatly as you can admire all the beautiful variety of colours and habits of the different birds that will frequent your garden when you give them supplementary feed.