Glenvale Park’s top tips on taking care of our feathered friends

The changing of the seasons means many things. For us, we pile on warmer jackets, stock up on hearty meals and shelter at home. That’s not too different from the birds that frequent our gardens, but winter can be a hard time to find food and shelter.

That’s why the team at Glenvale Park have installed several bird boxes to provide shelter to support wildlife over the winter months. Read on to find out ways in which you can attract garden birds and help them through the harsh cold months ahead.

Providing food

Birds need high-energy, high-fat foods to keep warm during the colder weather. One of the most popular ways to keep birds fed is suet, which you could find either in a supermarket or through ordering online.

You can also get creative and have fun by making your own much-needed fat source for birds. Once you’ve bought the suet, you can put it in a coconut shell, or in a log with holes in it.

If time is short, you can buy pre-prepared suet treats from gardening centres. You can also use a bird feeder, or a feeding tray. You will need to place feeders in areas which are safe from cats and protected from the wind, this will keep birds coming back to your garden. Avoid fat balls wrapped in plastic, as birds can become tangled in them.

Put food out on a regular basis, taking demand into account, so food doesn’t get wasted. Accumulation of food can spread disease and attract rodents. You may need to feed twice daily in harsher weather, as birds use a lot of energy in stormy and snowy conditions.

Feeding regularly will ensure birds don’t waste energy visiting your garden when there’s no food. If you stick to a regular feeding time, birds will know the most rewarding times to come to the garden.

Different foods attract different birds, if you have sunflower heads left over from summer, leave them out. These are particularly attractive to sparrows, finches, and nuthatches. Providing a wide range of seeds, nuts, grains, and fats will attract a wide variety of species.

Resource maintenance

To ensure diseases don’t spread between birds and from the birds to you, it’s important to keep feeding areas as clean as possible. You can clean bird feeders regularly and ensure any uneaten food doesn’t stay out long enough to rot.

Regularly cleaning your bird bath means birds can wash themselves in a hygienic environment, plus it will remain an attractive addition to your garden.  

Combatting dehydration

A bird bath can make for a great addition to any garden. You can buy attractive instalments from most garden centres; you can also make your own at home.

When energy is low in winter, it’s great to have a space where birds can both eat and drink, so a bird bath and a feeder make for a great pair.

Bird baths also provide a space for birds to spruce their feathers, whilst giving you a splash of life and colour to look at from your window… A welcome change from winter’s grey tones!

A place to call home

The focus on looking after birds through winter is usually on keeping them fed. Whilst this is important, providing shelter is just as vital.

Through installing bird boxes and sprucing them up by furnishing them with wood shavings, you will give sheltering birds extra comfort and warmth.

Shrubbery is also important, so if you’re planning on revamping your garden, bear in mind sheltering birds. Thick bushes like holly and ivy will shelter birds from extreme weather when they’re trying to find somewhere to roost.

To keep dogs and cats away you can provide tall trees or hard-to-reach bushes for birds to shelter safely in.

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