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Are you a nature lover and want to know how you can help garden birds through the cold winter? In winter, when food is scarce, our feathered friends can use all the support they can get. Here you’ll learn how to properly feed garden birds and accompany them through the cold season. 

What do Garden Birds Eat in Winter?  

Seed Eaters: Sunflower Seeds and Grains 

For seed eaters like sparrows, small, sociable birds with brown-gray plumage, finches, recognizable by their strong beaks and often colorful feathers, and tits, small, agile birds with striking colors and distinctive voices, sunflower seeds are ideal. They are energy-rich and easy to crack. Mixed seeds, such as millet and oats, are also a good choice. 

Soft Food Eaters: Raisins and Fruit 

Blackbirds, with their black plumage and bright orange beaks, and robins, small, distinctive birds with bright red breasts, prefer soft food. Offer them raisins, chopped fruit, or special soft food mixes. Make sure the food remains frost-free. 

 Omnivores: Fat Feed and Suet Balls 

Blue tit on a feeder ring
image: congerdesign – pixabay.com

Omnivores like the blue tit, a small, lively bird with blue-yellow plumage, enjoy fat feed and suet balls. These provide important fats and calories that are vital in winter. 

By adapting your feeding methods to the specific needs of these bird species, you can make a valuable contribution to the survival and health of garden birds in winter. 

How and Where Do You Feed the Birds?  

Bird Feeders: Safe and Clean  

Siskins in a bird feeder
image: ivabalk – pixabay.com

A bird feeder is the ideal solution for feeding garden birds safely and hygienically. Here are some tips to make the most of it: 

  • Choosing a Location: Place the bird feeder so that it is easily accessible to birds but protected from predators. A location near bushes or trees offers birds protection and escape opportunities. 
  • Regular Cleaning: Clean the bird feeder regularly to prevent the accumulation of old food and feces. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases. 
  • Multiple Feeding Stations: Consider setting up several bird feeders to minimize conflicts between different bird species. 
  • Weatherproof Material: Choose a bird feeder made of weatherproof material that is easy to clean and withstands the elements. 

Ground Feeding: For Ground-Feeding Species

Ground feeding is important to help ground-feeding birds like blackbirds. Here are some tips to ensure safe and effective ground feeding: 

  • Protected Feeding Place: Choose an open place for ground feeding that is protected from strong winds and predators. A place under a bush or near a hedge can be ideal. 
  • Cleanliness: Keep the feeding area clean by regularly removing old and spoiled food as well as bird feces. This prevents attracting rodents and the spread of diseases. 
  • Natural Feeding Place: Try to distribute the food as naturally as possible, for example, by scattering it loosely over the area. 
  • Observe the Birds: Pay attention to which species prefer the food on the ground and adjust the food offering accordingly. 

By following these tips, you can ensure that you support a diverse bird population in your garden and provide them with a safe and healthy food source in winter. 

Additional Tips for Winter Feeding 

2 birds on a ceramic bowl with water
image: aitoff – pixabay.com
  • Consistency is Important: Feed regularly so the birds know where to find food. 
  • Provide Water: Drinking water is also important in winter. Make sure it doesn’t freeze. 
  • Nature-Friendly Gardens: Offer natural food sources by making your garden bird-friendly. 

Conclusion: Creating a Paradise for Garden Birds 

By properly feeding garden birds in winter, you make an important contribution to nature conservation and can enjoy the colorful hustle and bustle of birds right outside your window. With a little effort and attention to detail, your garden will become a true paradise for feathered guests! 

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