London (change)
Today 13°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 14°C

Feeding the birds


by Pippa Greenwood

The hedge outside is covered with birds in all shapes and sizes, munching away at the many and left-overs I've put out for them.


Great titOnce again Christmas is over and the house seems even more full than before (as do our tummies!) but it's been a good few days. The hens had a great time with all their kitchen scraps, but it's the wild birds I especially enjoy watching at this time of year.

The hedge outside is covered with birds in all shapes and sizes, munching away at the many and left-overs I've put out for them. I've left them little heaps of Christmas pudding, crumbled up biscuits and I've filled up one of the peanut feeders with fresh cranberries and Christmas nuts (unsalted, of course).

It all looks rather festive out there. As well as feeding the birds, I leave out bowls of water for them to bathe in and drink. Bird baths are essential for birds at this time of year, as they enable the birds to clean their feathers, insulating them from the cold and helping them to fly.

The great thing is that from my kitchen I can see the birds are really appreciating my efforts, and at the same time they're providing my family with far more entertainment than anything on offer on the telly. I still sit and fret about those skinny little legs on the smaller birds, and wonder at how they don't simply snap in the cold... perhaps it's all the extra snacks we're giving them, who knows, but I'm so glad to have them there!



Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Feeding the birds
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 30/12/2009 at 18:26

We have spent many happy hours watching lots and lots of blackbirds feasting off our crab apples, especially during the snow as they were so visible and well above the 12 ins of snow!! Norfolk.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2010 at 09:05

At the moment I have 6 feeders hanging from my rotary drier which is near my kitchen window so I can happily watch all the birds. I give them peanuts, sunflower hearts, mealworms,suet and cereal cakes and fat balls.I live near a stream so get a wide variety of birds in-robins,tits,sparrows,nut hatch, goldcrest to name some. I also get lots of long tailed tits-they come in large numbers with about 6 hanging from each feeder. I notice that when they are in the other birds hang back on the sidelines and then nip in when they get a chance.Fot the 'ground' feeders I put their food in trays on top of the barbecue or patio table so that my Labrador cannot help them eat their feast! Happy New Year to you all

Gardeners' World Web User 01/01/2010 at 14:45

I only have three feeders halfway down my garden,containing peanuts,fatballs and seed with a safe haven of privots on both sides in case cats happen to show their face and like Josephine i also get various tits feeding, blackbirds,the odd siskin now and again and house sparrows that seem to fly in from all directions. I have a nesting box on the side of my garage with a pair of blue tits going in and out so hopefully they will use this to bring up their young this year. It will be nice to sit on the garden seat and watch the parents flying in and out with food in their beaks feeding the young.Wishing you all a happy new year

Gardeners' World Web User 02/01/2010 at 11:14

Our garden is a battle ground at the moment! I gave my husband assorted feeders & food for the birds this Christmas. There are regular stand-offs between blackbirds and robins. Watching their posturing is very interesting. Dunnock, bullfinch & tit varieties are much more polite & wait their turn. A pair of robins always appears when I feed my big Clydesdale horse. They like the soaked sugarbeet!

Gardeners' World Web User 02/01/2010 at 17:23

I'm feeling guilty now as i have recently cut down a huge bush full of berries in my garden.........and feel i've denied the birds a winter feast...will buy fat balls at the first opportunity

See more comments...