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How to attract winter birds to the garden

Winter can often be the easiest time of year to attract birds to your garden, as they often need a little more help when it comes to surviving the winter months. Cold temperatures and limited natural food supplies can make it difficult for birds to survive, but there’s plenty you can do to help them get through this harsh weather. In return you’ll be rewarded with plenty of grateful visitors to your garden.

While food is obviously a key factor in attracting winter birds to your garden, there are also other things you can do. Consider investing in a heated bird bath to save birds the effort of melting snow and ice, and you could also offer winter shelter options such as roosting boxes to provide some protection from bitter winds.

When it comes to feeding, different types of food will attract different bird species to your garden. Below you’ll find a list of common winter visitors, along with details of the best types of food to keep them coming back.

Robins

Synonymous with winter and Christmas, the robin normally eats mainly insects, so your garden may well provide them with all of the food that they need. However, if you’re looking to supplement their food, try mealworms, peanuts or fat balls.

picture of a robin
Coal tits

The coal tit normally feasts on seeds and small insects, and in the winter you will often find them taking seeds from bird feeders to store up for the colder periods. Sunflower seeds are a great choice for these birds, along with small pieces of peanut.

 

picture of a coal tit
Collared doves

Seeds and grains are what these beautiful birds survive on, so a varied of mixed grains and seeds will keep them well fed throughout the winter.

picture of a collared dove

 

Blue tits

Blue tits love gardens that are full of small insects for them to eat, and they’re very agile, which is why you will often see them clinging to hanging bird feeders in your garden. To supplement their winter diet, provide them with foods such as fats, sunflower seeds and peanuts.

picture of blue tit

 

 

Great tits
As with blue tits, great tits enjoy munching on insects, and are often found in woodland areas, where they will also eat the seeds of trees in the winter. These birds should also be fed fats, sunflower seeds and peanuts.

 

image of a great tit bird
Greenfinches

Greenfinches tend to nest in thick, bushy hedges, which is why you will often see them in well maintained gardens. They predominantly eat seeds, and also remain stationary for long periods of time; you may well see them sitting on your feeder for hours on end. Keep them well fed with sunflower seeds and nyger seeds in the winter.

 

 

picture of green finch birds
House sparrows

Sadly, house sparrows have seen a decline over recent years, which is mainly due to the decrease in the available grain in farmyards that previously kept them alive over the winter. They also tend to nest under house eaves, which is why you’ll find them around older properties – newer buildings do not have these spaces. Feed them kitchen scraps, as well as the seeds and grains that will also attract other types of bird.

 

 

image of house sparrow

 

 

 

Published October 17th, 2014 by Jordan. Article ref 3261

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