January brings an array of exciting and interesting birds to look forward to and enjoy in your very own garden. Perfect timing with The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch on 27-29 January.
With the cold weather, you wouldn’t think you would see much wildlife in your garden, however, gardens can prove to be an ideal meal ticket for birds this time of year, in frosty and snowy weather. This is the time birds become more adventurous, venturing into gardens for little scraps of food, full to the brim feeders and bird tables. Smaller birds find food to survive from garden bird tables, feeders and possibly little scraps of food.
Bird Seed Mixtures
The better bird seed mixtures contain flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules, attracting birds such as Tits and Greenfinches. Birdseed Mixes that contain chunks and nuts are perfect for this time of year, only being suitable for winter feeding only.
Black Sunflower Seeds
Black sunflower seeds are a very popular treat for birds and are excellent to put out in the garden throughout the whole year.
Small, black seeds high in oil content; Nyjer Seeds are considered to be favoured by Goldfinches.
Peanuts are very popular with tits, house sparrows, great spotted woodpeckers, siskins and nuthatches. Crushed or grated nuts attract birds such as robins, dunnocks and wrens. Peanuts can be high in a natural toxin (which can kill birds), so be very wary and buy from a reputable dealer to guarantee freedom from aflatoxin.
Fat Balls and Fat-Based Food Bars
Fat balls and other fat-based food bars are ideal winter food. If they are contained in nylon mesh bags, always remove the bag for the soft mesh can injure and trap birds.
Rice & Cereal
Cooked brown or white rice, with no extra additives, is accepted by all birds during severe winter weather. As well as uncooked porridge oats and any breakfast cereal.
Why Don’t You Have A Go At Feeding The Birds Yourself With This Quick And Easy Bird Cake Recipe?
- You can make your own bird cake by pouring melted fat (suet or lard) onto a mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake.
- Use about one-third fat to two-thirds mixture.
- Stir well in a bowl and allow it to set in a container of your choice.
- An empty coconut shell, plastic cup or tit bell makes an ideal bird cake ‘feeder’.
- Alternatively, you can turn it out onto your bird table when solid.
Remember that it is still possible to undertake a range of ecology surveys during the winter months. Click here to find out more or check out our survey calendar to see when you can start planning your surveys this year.
Why not attend one of our ecology courses?