Feed the birds in winter
When to start feeding the birds?
Birds that don't fly to warm regions can withstand our milder winters. However, hard winters with permanent snow cover and strong frosts are also a matter of survival for them. Nonetheless, it is not ideal to feed the birds right after the first frosts.
We start feeding the birds when the daily temperature drops below the freezing point for a longer period of time. Also at a time when the country is covered with a continuous blanket of snow. During this time, birds have a harder time finding food.
We were also inspired by birds when creating our clothing collection for children - First frost. We really enjoyed watching the birds during feeding.
What to feed the birds with?
The birds can still locate food on their own during the first few chilly days. They eat nuts, berries, seeds, and the seeds of plants and trees. However, on colder days, they need to replenish a larger amount of fat, which protects them from the cold. That's why birds like seeds with a higher fat content - sunflower and linseed, they don't despise tallow either.
In stores, you can find a mixture for birds that you pour into the feeder. First, try to observe what kind of birds are at your place, or after the first batch, observe what the birds like. Some mixes may contain seeds that the birds will not want, so you will have to throw them out of the feeder.
Hanging balls or different shapes of bird feeders are also available. You can make these together with us, their production is not difficult at all.
Recipe for bird food
There are many recipes, but we had success with this one. It is easy; you already have the necessary ingredients at home or may get them from a regular store.
The base is a thick mixture of flour and water. We cannot determine the exact ratio, but try it gradually: 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup of flour. This dough should be worked up into a sticky lump. Add more water if the mixture is too firm, and more flour if it is too thin.
- mix a sticky mixture of flour and water
- add a mixture of bird seeds to it
- stuff the mixture into molds or roll it out and cut out different shapes
- let it harden (it hardens faster in the cold)
- pass a stronger twine through it
- hang it on trees or places where birds can find it.
The pine cones that you collect in the forest on a walk will also serve. Just rub them with unsalted pork lard and sprinkle the seeds on them.
They will stick and stay in place once the ointment has set. The little birds will then easily release them. You can hang the pine cone on a branch or bush and it'll look natural. If you use a natural string, it will disintegrate on its own over time and the pine cone will fall to the ground.
- if you have a hanging feeder, you can also give the birds an apple (preferably whole, cutting it into pieces is more likely to spoil it)
- do not give the birds salted or spiced nuts or salted tallow (fat)
- birds shouldn't be fed with dry or fresh pastries or bread because they are harmful for them
- you can also wrap tree branches with our mixture
- in order to prevent the seeds from molding, clean the bird feeder occasionally
- feed the birds in areas that are secure, away from busy streets, walkways, and cats' reach.
- you can also fill a flower pot with the mixture; attach a stick in the middle, and if the mixture hardens, hang it the other way around, and the birds will pick their food while sitting on the stick
Interesting factsWhy care for birds in our gardens and parks? Because they are excellent and valuable helpers. One pair of chickadees that settles in our garden can eliminate up to 30,000 insects while feeding the young. They eat other insects to feed themselves.
Birds stay in our garden if they feel safe there and if they have enough food, even through the winter. So take care of them, and they will repay you.
Bird watching while feeding can also be a beautiful activity during winter days. Together with the children, you can find out which birds come to you. Draw them or take a picture.