Winter, and the accompanying cold temperatures, are upon us and it’s time to think about our feathered friends in the wild. We can, in fact, help them survive the intense cold and paucity of natural food by putting a house and feeder in the garden… a great way to watch them from up close, as well as being a fun and educational pastime for kids.
It won’t be long now before the temperatures drop low and ice takes over the landscape for a few months, a real problem for wild animals who often have a hard time finding shelter or the food they need to get through the coldest season of the year. Have you ever considered putting one of those cute little houses or a feeder in the branches of the trees in your garden?
It doesn’t take much to help the little birds that spend their winter here make it through to Spring. They usually spend the warm season eating insects, but in winter they become granivores, or eaters of grain. Robbins, blackbirds, chimney sweep redstarts, great tits, blue tits and starlings spend the cold season in search of seeds in the snow. We can help them along by putting wild bird feeders in our trees and filling them with, for example, sunflower seeds. Other types of food are appreciated as well: cake crumbs, finely chopped dried fruit, sweets (such as Panettone, it’s Christmas for them too!), soft biscuits and canary seeds, but also grains and oats.
Be careful not to place all these delicious things too close to the ground, as cats are always lurking around somewhere and will scare the birds away. There are even feeders with rods on which to stick a slice of apple or pear, which the birds will love! Ferplast feeders are all made of TREE FRIEND wood from responsibly managed forests and, aside from feeding wild birds, are nice to look at and dress the garden.
You can also hang outdoor nests from the higher branches, or put them under the roof. Nests like Nest Fun 2 that look like a cute cuckoo clock. Get the kids involved, they’ll have lots of fun! Feeding or offering shelter to wild birds is a great pastime because, for once, you can watch your exotic guests from up close and really study their behaviour. It’s educational for the kids, who will have fun and become more aware of the world of animals, more sensitive to the need to care for them.