How to Care for Wild Birds this Winter

Posted by admin on November 7, 2016

During the winter months, the weather becomes a cold and harsh environment, making it hard for wild birds to fend for themselves and survive. Birds are an important part of our habitat, and we’ve put together an easy guide on how you can do your bit to help care for them as the winter months roll around.

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Shelter

Without the aid of shelter, most animals would unfortunately die during the harsher winter months. Therefore, creating small, well sheltered areas for wild birds in the winter is a great way to help them keep warm and, ultimately, survive. You can easily do this by creating wood or rock piles throughout your garden, which can allow smaller wild birds to find a place to hide from the icy weather. These small piles can also help larger birds, as they provide the means to create an insulated nest. Obtaining a standard bird box, whether home-made or purchased in store, provide a sturdy, warm structure for birds of various sizes, giving them somewhere to hide during the storms.

Water

Throughout winter you'll begin to notice ponds, bird baths, and any areas of water freeze over, meaning birds have little access to water. Without access to water, birds will become dehydrated and will fail to survive. In order to stop this from happening, why not place a small, frozen ball inside your bird bath. This allows small birds to move the ball, slowly breaking up the ice and providing access to water. However, if you are in more rural areas where the sun doesn’t hit your bird bath, the ice will take longer to melt, stopping birds from finding an easy drink. Alternatively, if you live in an area with not much sun, you could try the old fashioned way by pouring hot water over the ice to start it melting.

Food

When the colder months begin to roll around, it becomes increasingly harder for birds to find food and insects to eat. Therefore, ensuring your garden is full of stocked up bird feeders is a great way to help birds get the nutrition they need to stay strong through winter. However, we do advise that you keep in mind when it becomes colder, seeds can often become wet, which can increase the amount of bacteria on the seeds. This bacteria could make the birds extremely ill- which is definitely not what they need when also battling the cold. When purchasing a bird feeder, take a look around and see whether it will keep seeds dry throughout the colder, wetter weather.

Squirrels

Squirrels have a great sense of smell, as do a whole range of other four-legged animals. Therefore, when placing your bird feeders in your garden, try to keep them distances apart from each other, to stop squirrels from jumping from one to the other and stealing all the food. Squirrels can jump anywhere between 4 to 5 feet vertically and 8 to 10 feet between objects, so spreading out your bird feeders around your garden is a great way to stop squirrels in their tracks. Why not make a spot in your garden dedicated for squirrels and four-legged animals, which can in turn help to stop them making attempts for the bird seeds.


Here at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, we have a fantastic bird care department in store. Why not pop down and see us to see how you can look after the birds in your garden? To find out more information, get in touch with a member of our friendly team by visiting our contact page or by giving us a call on 020 8300 0084.