Birds eating fat balls

We, as humans, like to complain about the cold in winter. However, while most of us have a warm home to return to at the end of the day, and food readily available in the fridge, birds have a much harder time of it.

The grim reality of UK bird life is that, if there isn’t enough food and the freezing weather rages on for days at a time, mass deaths can occur, decemating local populations. However, it’s actually possible to make a difference with small actions that will help birds survive these harsh conditions.

So how about making your garden a super bird-friendly place this winter? It can even be a joy for you, doing a good deed for local wildlife, and spotting beautiful native species pop up in your garden throughout the season and beyond! Here are five tips for keeping birds happy in the winter.

Put out high-energy bird food

Birds need lots of energy in winter to keep warm during the cold weather and fuel their search for more food. High energy bird food might include lard or suet, peanut butter, fruit, dried mealworms, and nuts such as sunflower seeds and chopped up peanuts. You can make these yourself, or buy them from a reputable source, such as Grumpy Gardener at QVC.

 

Grumpy Gardener fat balls

 

Created by a family of gardeners spanning three generations, the Grumpy Gardener range puts high-quality craftsmanship at the heart of every innovation, offering long-lasting tools, stylish bird feeders and more. They know what they’re doing when it comes to creating a bird friendly garden, and they’ve created an easy solution for gardeners and wildlife lovers who maybe don’t have the time to make their own bird food.

 

Grumpy Gardener fat balls

 

This huge box of fat balls have been specifically formulated to help provide nutrients for feathered friends. Give wild birds in your garden or outdoor space a real treat with this impressive Grumpy Gardener selection, which contains 12.55kg of fat balls.

Available here at QVC!

Keep drinking and bathing water from freezing

Bird bath

 

It is easy to create reserves of drinking and bathing water for birds in your garden – you don’t even need a bird bath! You can even turn a garden bin lid upside down, and either fill it with water or wait for the rain to collect.

Keeping the water from freezing requires a little more creativity, but one easy tip is to place a lightweight ball (like a ping pong ball) in the water. The wind will blow it around on the surface, and the movement will help stop the water freezing.

Create winter shelter

Bird box

 

Birds will often nest in dense hedges and bushes, such as hawthorn, to acquire shelter and food (in the form of berries and insects). Planting these in your garden will allow birds to use the plants as shelter in winter, but if you can’t plant these, you could instead install a bird box, as long as it is placed in a location that is sheltered from wind, rain and harsh sun.

Don’t tidy your garden too much

Messy garden

 

Unfortunately, though a tidy garden may look nice, it doesn’t offer much for wildlife. In a slightly messy garden, birds can find sticks, leaves and other debris to use for their nests, and there is more chance of finding insects to snack on.

As proud gardeners, we like to have a presentable outdoor space. However, a little chaos isn’t a bad thing, and is beneficial for our feathered friends!

Avoid feeding birds large chunks of bread

Bread for bird

 

Bread should only be put out in your garden sparingly, as it does not offer much nutrition to birds, and can be difficult to digest in large quantities. If you have bread spare and you don’t want to waste it, tear it up into very small chunks, and only use it if you are also putting out high energy bird food.

Care for your garden wildlife all year round with QVC’s curated selection of products. Browse their range here.

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