Posted: Wednesday 26 December 2012
by Pippa Greenwood
Over the festive period, we all usually have more leftover food than usual, so make sure you offer as much as possible to your garden birds.
I hope you had a good Christmas and a break from your normal routine - maybe a little extra sleep and a lot of extra time in the garden or greenhouse. I’m enjoying the post-Christmas peace and quiet, and the chance to spot some winter birdlife.
At this time of year, I make sure the bird tables and feeders around the garden are always well stocked. Although peanuts have rocketed in price recently, they’re so popular with my local birds that we bought a whole sack of them a couple of months ago. I put whole peanuts in feeders and scatter crushed ones on the bird table and the ground.
Bird seed is another firm favourite. I find it’s worth paying a bit more for a mix that contains a higher proportion of tiny seeds, and fewer of the larger grains, such as wheat. The little birds prefer the small seeds, while the pigeons are less than impressed.
I cram fat balls (without nets) into peanut feeders or place them on top of the hedge. I also cut apples or pears in half and put them, cut surface uppermost, on the hedge, along with leftover bacon rinds.
Over the festive period, we all usually have more leftover food than usual, so make sure you offer as much as possible to birds that are struggling to survive the wintry weather. Cooked rice, stale bread or biscuits, the dodgy walnuts, the last of the Christmas pudding… in fact, most food scraps (except turkey, goose or chicken remains, or anything too salty or sugary). Every little really does help. And, finally, don’t forget to provide a regular supply of fresh water.