In winter, it is necessary to take care of all pets, forest animals, and birds. Some do not move to warm southern places during this time but stay here in the cold climate. Because of the snow covering green areas and trees, it is difficult for birds to find food, so feeding garden birds in winter is a noble act.
The birds that spend the winter here are roughly divided into two types depending on what kind of food they eat – grains or softer food. Among the first birds are titmice, warblers, bullfinch, sparrows, and finches, other types include blackbirds, starlings, robins, and thrushes.
Feeding Garden Birds in Winter With the Help of a Bird Feeder
A bird feeder is the best solution for feeding garden birds over the winter. The bird feeder has an adequately large roof that covers the entire area where the bird’s feed is spent, or seeds are. The size of the feeder is also essential – it should be large enough to feed several birds simultaneously. Remember the birds even before the first snow and place or hang the feeder already in autumn. The birds must first notice it and get used to it, and only then will they really use it. Carefully consider the space where you will place the bird feeder. Some stand with the help of a pole, and others can be hung or placed on the balcony railing or window sill. For the latter case, only higher balconies and windowsills are suitable, where cats cannot reach. If you have decided on such a feeder, which you place on a pole, it must be at least 2 meters high – the reason for its height is also cats, which birds strongly attract.
Place the bird feeder near trees or bushes, as birds like to hang out on tree branches or bushes, and the feeder will be noticed more quickly or hoped to use. If you observe for a long time, you will see that they like to hang out in the trees near the feeders before and after they fly to their meal.
Production of Bird Feeder
You can decide to buy a bird feeder; these are already correctly designed and provide a large enough area to hide the seeds from the snow and allow several birds to feed simultaneously.
Do you want to make a very special bird feeder? You don’t like any of them, and they don’t fit in your environment? Why not use your creativity and make it yourself? You will not spend a lot of time and materials to create a basic bird feeder, and basic carpentry tools will also be sufficient – hand saw, hammer, tape measure, pencil, screwdriver…
The best choice for the steering wheel is wood, especially some kind of conifer. Never paint wooden surfaces with color lighters. The red color repels birds, as it represents a danger to them. At the same time, the varnish makes the surface too smooth, and they don’t really like it. Therefore, keep the colors of the feeder in as natural shades as possible. The feeding station should be as open as possible because the birds want to have a constant overview of what is happening around them, so the entrance to the feeding station should be sufficiently open. Do not forget about the size of the roof, which should be quite a bit larger than the platform where the food is located. This prevents snow build-up and wet seeds.
Home-made birdhouses should also be designed to make their cleaning as easy as possible. We recommend that you make the lower part a drawer, making it easier to remove it from the feed room and clean the mess from it.
Winter Food for Birds
The best choice for birds in winter is seeds. These can be sunflower, hemp, flax, wheat, millet… A good solution is to buy a ready-made mixture in a store. Such seeds are suitable for outdoor birds, and you can choose from several mixes or opt for one type of seed.
Start feeding the birds already in autumn and get them used to a constant food supply. Do not stop feeding until mid-spring. It is recommended that you feed them every morning. We have to be very consistent with our tasks because, over time, the birds will get used to constant access to food. You can also make the birds happy in winter with a tallow cake. But hang it under the existing roof so that it does not accumulate snow in the winter. In this case, the birds will not see or want to use it, as it will be too soaked with water or frozen. You can get ready-made cakes in various shops, but you can also make them yourself at home.
Pour any mixture of seeds into the yogurt pot (or any mold of your choice) and insert a string formed into a loop in the middle of them. Pour melted coconut fat (also known as coconut oil) over the seeds to the top. Place the mixture in the cold and wait for it to solidify. Take the hardened cake out of the pot and hang the string on the tree.
Don’t Forget the Water
During the snow and winter, don’t forget water, which birds need all year round but are challenging to access in cold weather due to frost. Pour the water into a shallow bowl and add lukewarm water from time to time so it does not freeze quickly.
Certain birds also use hatcheries during the winter. These are mainly field sparrows and great woodpeckers. Hatcheries are used as sleeping nests in the winter, in which they put dry grass. The remaining birds can also use the hatchery to sleep over the winter. Since the houses will be used to it in the spring, they will also resort to it during the wedding season. It should stand at least 2.5 m above the ground, protected from wind and rain.
The entrance should not face west or north; east or southeast is recommended, and a southwest position of the entrance is also allowed.