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Feeding Wild Birds In Winter

Updated on December 31, 2012

Many people enjoy feeding the birds that visit their garden and this often means that they rely on the food left out for them to get through the winter months.

There is usually a plentiful supply of food in the fields and hedgerows during the autumn, which often means that there are less visitors to the garden bird tables. However, this supply is soon gone and as winter approaches the birds need ot find an alternative source of food. At this time of year they need suffcient calories to keep warm so high energy foods are the best. It is also important that they have a clean supply of water, not only to drink but to bathe in as clean feathers are essential to keep them warm. In the colder months many birds may eat around 40% of their body weight each day so a good supply of food is essential.

Foods: High energy seed mixes.


Fat balls - remove netting to prevent claws and beaks getting caught


Suet blocks - often have seeds/insects incorporated in them

A visit to your local pet shop or garden centre will offer a vast selection of foods for wild birds and will leave you spoilt for choice. The important thing to remember is that if you start feeding the birds in your garden you should top up the food regularly as they will come to rely on the food source. Keep feeders and tables clean and remember to break the ice on water dishes in frosty weather.


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    • brackenb profile image

      brackenb 5 years ago

      Thank you - I didn't know about the heaters, I'll have to investigate for my birdbaths.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great piece. There are some heaters made for birdbaths that some people like to use to keep the ice from the water.