Savoir vivre of feeding birds
Feeding birds in winter is such a heartwarming experience. Supporting these small creatures during the hardest time of the year will ensure better chances for a successful breeding season in the birdhouses you built. It’s important to do it right. We don’t want our good intentions to have a negative outcome. In this short article, we’ll share with you the savoir vivre of feeding birds.
1. Know when to start
During autumn birds can still find berries, seeds and insects to feed on in their natural surroundings. These various food sources will give them enough nutritions and fats to prepare for winter. Birds need a proper layer of fat under their plumage to survive the cold nights.
When the ground is frozen it’s already hard for the birds to find food. At this point you can finally start the feeding!
2. Feeding is a commitment
Once you start feeding birds in the beginning of winter, they will quickly become reliant on the food you offer. When they find out about your amazing “supermarket”, they will be coming back constantly. An empty feeding station means a risk for their survival.
Before you open the buffet for the birds, please make sure that you are able to commit all winter. Maybe you have a good friend who can take over if you’re away?
3. Offer a good variety of food
Fatty food is vital for birds and just like for us, only one type of food is boring and doesn’t give all we need. A mixture of seeds, nuts and fat is what a good buffet is made of. You can easily find bird food in supermarkets and it will not hit your wallet much.
4. How many feeding stations?
When you serve good food, the news about your wild restaurant will spread quickly. This means more guests. Serving food from only one feeding station might cause pressure and arguments between birds. Especially if bigger birds dominate, small birds might be too afraid to come. No need to build a village straight away, but 2 to 3 stations is good. Remember to also keep some distance between them, a couple metres is enough.
5. Different types of feeding stations
Big feeding stations for big birds, smaller for small birds. To be more precise, a lower roof makes the station accessible for small birds, but not for big ones. For species like Willow Tit or House Sparrow, a smaller station gives them the possibility to eat in peace.
6. Make it safe
The truth is, that not only birds will be interested in the feeding station. The cats of your neighbour will also turn their eyes in this direction. Hanging the feeder in a way that doesn’t allow a cat to jump or climb up is an easy way to make it safe.
7. What about squirrels?
No real feeding station without the squirrels, right? Instead of spending money and buying squirrel-proof feeding stations, we like to let them enjoy the buffet as well. We recommend making some space for them, offering for example peanuts and unpeeled sunflower seeds. This will keep them busy and happy 😊 Meanwhile it’s super entertaining to watch them play in the trees, chasing each other.
We hope that these tips will help you and the birds (and squirrels) enjoy the winter together! Watching them eat is a very interesting and entertaining way of spending the day. Take some pictures while you have the chance!
As birds have a very good memory, they will be coming back also next winter, so be ready when they start occurring around the feeding place. This is a good sign that your help is needed!
Good luck! 🙂