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ARTICLE | Winter and birds in the garden 

10. 1. 2023

Before the onset of winter, some birds leave our gardens. These are mostly insectivorous species that wouldn’t find food there in winter. However, other species migrate to us for food. These feathered creatures catch our attention since many trees and shrubs are leafless. It is ideal if there is a natural food supply in our garden, especially shrubs with small juicy fruits, and piles of branches and leaves that harbor insects. Still, according to the latest findings, it is necessary to feed the birds all year round. 

Winter feeding of birds and also the production and hanging of birdhouses have a long tradition in our country. The importance of these measures has increased since the decline in the numbers of many bird species. The research has shown that feeding should not be stopped with the onset of spring. It often happens that after the arrival of the first migratory species from the south, it gets very cold and the birds can't find enough food. The feeders seem abandoned in spring, but birds from the area know about them and check them as soon as the weather gets worse. It is therefore good to keep some bird food there permanently. The birds will appreciate this even when they are feeding their young.  

The birds' diet should be based on various fruits from the shrubs and trees we have in the garden. Most often it is elder, hawthorn, rowan, apple, and pear trees, but also the fruit of Virginia creeper or leftover rosehips and blackberries. This food is important when the birds fly to more distant wintering grounds and gather energy for their long journey. Sunflower seeds, oatmeal, and other small seeds can be offered at the feeders. When frosts set in, fat is also important (e.g., in the form of tallow balls).  Balls bought in stores must be unwrapped from the netting, otherwise, birds can get caught in it. There are various wire baskets available instead. It is also possible to put the tallow ball directly into the feeder. Many bird species, such as blackbirds, welcome sliced apples. Just place the apples on the ground under a tree or feeder. This gives the birds both water and energy. However, we should not forget to provide a suitable water source and offer a shallow watering place. 

The sight of the swarming birds on the feeder can be a reward for us. Apart from blackbirds or titmice, we can also be delighted by Eurasian nuthatches, finches, and robins.  

You can see many bird species also in our garden since we are dedicated to bird feeding. Come and learn new information about bird feeding at our photo exhibition How to feed birds. 

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