As we enter autumn and then winter, the availability of natural food in wild habitats becomes less and less and our birds have to work harder to find their fill. This brings more and more birds into our gardens seeking out what treats they can find to help them survive so it’s key that we provide what we can as often as possible. As we reach this important time it’s good to review what we need to do to prepare our feeding stations for our hungry friends:
- Give everything a good clean! – Get them inside and give it all a good scrub with hot water and a mild disinfectant. This will make sure the feeders and tables are really clear of mould and old food that has the potential to kill the birds especially at their most vulnerable time.
- Make sure you feed in multiple areas around the garden – When hungry birds can become protective and aggressive this can stress some birds out, so having a number of feeding areas, feeders and tables, will help with garden politics!!
- Make sure there’s water available when it’s freezing – If you can fill a bird bath with warm water you will attract all sorts of thirsty birds that will take advantage of available water when most is solid ice.
- Think what you are feeding – Give a mix of scraps and high energy foods such as suet, and oil bearing seed like sunflower hearts, peanuts, as well as the usual seed and cereals. More energy will help the chances of survival when cold.
Don’t forget to catch up with all the best advice on Autumnwatch, which starts on BBC 2 tomorrow (October 29th). There are always great ideas and wildlife stories available in this great programme. Catch it on BBC iPlayer if you miss it.