There are more species and individual birds visiting our gardens in midwinter than at any other time of year. The equivalent of school holidays in Cornwall – it’s high season for garden birds right now and the reason is obvious – it’s the search for food. In winter food is in short supply, with insects and grubs really hard to come by and worms and invertebrates impossible to dig up when the ground is frozen. This really affects birds like thrushes and robins and they in turn go looking for other food like berries. It’s a really good thing to have trees and bushes like hawthorn, rowan, holly, and cotoneaster because they can give a good meal to your birds, but you will see for yourself how quickly a flock can devour food and strip the shrub of all it’s berries… Birds need a continual supply of food and there’s one sure way of helping and that to provide a good and constant supply of a variety of food as well as water throughout the colder months.
How can you help your garden birds survive and thrive? It’s the same as us humans really – they need:Food, Water and Shelter.
The easiest option is to set up a birdfeeding station or feeders so that you can support them with different foods.
For the full works need a couple of seed feeders, a suet feeder, a peanut feeder, a niger feeder and a mealworm feeder https://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/collections/birdfeeders but if you want to start small I would choose a good and large seed feeder and a suet feeder for maximum impact.Choose a good quality mixed seed as this will support a large range of species – our Wiggly Seed Extra is perfect for this https://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/collections/wiggly-seed and add in our AmaizeBalls https://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/collections/suet-balls as these will not only feed your birds but based on fat it will help insulate them in the colder winter nights.
Water is key for drinking and bathing and enables your garden birds to preen their feathers to insulate them from the cold so keeping your bird bath clean and ice-free is really useful.
You can also easily provide your garden birds with four star accommodation too. As well as next boxes a really easy addition are roosting pockets https://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/collections/nesting and often species like Robins, Wrens and Dunnocks will adopt them over the winter – think of them more as an Airbnb and a nest box as a long term let…
The very best wildlife gardens provide food throughout the season - not just a day or two when there is snow on the ground. It may take some time for your birds to find and get used to your feeders but once they do they will keep returning regularly for more. Feeding the birds is a very positive New Years Resolution as cold weather is a fight for survival. And it’s one difference close to home that we can all make.