Top 10 bird feeding tips this winter
1. Know your birds
Different species eat different things. Finches like seeds; tits like fat. And starlings will eat just about anything. Make sure you're providing the right menu for your diners. If you do not want to feed starlings then you could buy the 'Pest-Off' bird feeder by Roamwild, this prevents larger birds, squirrels and rats from feeding from your bird feeder.
2. Look out for leftovers...
Some of our own food can be good for birds – for example, fruit cake or mince pies, dried fruit, unsalted nuts, or apples and pears past their best. Try sprinkling grated mild cheese under trees and bushes for more timid birds like wrens and dunnocks.
3. But choose the right stuff...
Birds probably won't eat your unwanted Christmas Day sprouts. And putting out is a big no-no - it's so soft it'll stick to birds' feathers and stop them from keeping waterproof and warm.
4. Don't poison your pets!
Birds love dried fruit. But if you have a dog, don't put grapes, currants, raisins or sultanas within their reach. Vine fruits can be toxic to dogs.
5. Keep water in bird baths and ponds unfrozen
Birds need to drink and bathe every day - even when it's really cold outside. A pond or bird bath is great, but even an upturned bin lid or plant saucer can give birds the water they need.
6. Put out the right amount of food
Only put out what will get eaten during the day. This is important if you want to avoid unwanted visitors like rats. It'll also mean that there aren't big piles of mouldy food on your bird table.
7. Keep it clean!
Dirty bird feeders and bird tables can help spread diseases. Clean your feeders regularly to keep your visitors healthy and happy. And always wash your hands after feeding the birds!
8. Big Garden Birdwatch is coming...
The weekend of 24-25 January sees the world's biggest wildlife survey. If you're feeding the birds over the festive period, why not continue through January? All it takes is an hour of your time to watch the birds that use your garden - then just tell us what you saw.
9. Use a Pest proof bird feeder!
Feed the song birds not the pests. By using a pest proof bird feeder like the Roamwild Pest-Off bird feeder will only allow your songbirds to feed and not pest like larger birds, squirrels or rats. The Pest-Off feeder is also rat proof.
10. Thank you for giving nature a home
By feeding the birds in your garden, on your balcony or at your window, you'll help them get through what can be a tough time of year.
How about planning ahead and making your place even better for wildlife? Have fun!
- James Thorn