At this time of year and with snowfall at high level in the UK thanks to the #beastfromtheeast it is important that we think about our Garden Crowd even more.
During cold snaps like these you will see an increase of small birds visiting your garden. They are seeking out a bit of sanctuary from the harsh temperatures and the lack of food. The countryside at this time of year can be a difficult place to live for little birds so they find solice in our gardens.
You may notice different birds that you don’t normally get, maybe blackcaps, bramblings or finches. They may not be the most usual garden birds but at this time of the year spending time in the garden is a much nicer prospect than going alone.
At this time of year wild-birds need high-energy foods. Coming across a well-stocked feeder that is full of their favourite high-energy food is like going to an all you can eat buffet and it is free (24/7!). An all you can eat buffet may not be a lifesaver for most of us but a well-stocked bird feeder can be the difference between life and death for these little birds.
Birds eat at an astonishing rate at this time of the year. Small birds like blue tits can eat up to 30% of their body weight during the daylight hours. They need to eat a lot of food to make sure they build the necessary fat reserves to get them through the long, cold nights.
The small birds will become dependent on you and the food you put out in your garden during this time. It is important to make sure that your feeders are super topped up and that you maintain them. Birds need to feed fast but also need to conserve energy so they don’t want to waste it coming to an empty feeder, this can really be an obstacle for them at this time of year.
Providing a fresh, ice-free supply of water is another cold weather essential — drinking and bathing is a vital part of the daily routine of birds. Check out our bird bath blog for some more great tips on how to provide water to the birds without spending loads of money!
Birds will be at their most active during the morning and last thing in the afternoon. They will have lost body weight overnight and need to replenish this and towards the end of the day they will go in to bulk-up mode before the daylight is over!
This is also a hard time for larger birds so in order to protect your small Garden Crowd make sure to keep feeders close to busy areas that they can fly to quickly. Some of our customers have seen birds of prey visit their gardens which is unusual throughout the rest of the year. They need food too so they will be on the lookout in your garden for easy prey. It can be hard keeping everyone safe but make sure they have places to hide if they need it!
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- Tags: Bird Baths, Bird Feeders, Bird Feeding, Birds of Prey, Garden Birds, Gardening for Birds, Winter