January is often the coldest month of the year and a time when natural food sources for garden wildlife are in short supply.
Rather than hibernate over winter, birds remain active and will continue to visit gardens in search of food. As well as putting out bird food, you can also try growing your own bird food – order the seeds now so you are ready to sow.
If you’re looking for more ways to attract wildlife to your garden, take a look at these dead wood habitats to make and discover the six essential features of a wildlife garden.
Help your garden wildlife survive the winter, with the help of our jobs checklist for January.
Keep bird feeders full
Keep birds feeders full of food such as peanuts, sunflower hearts and suet products. Put seed mix, chopped apples and grated cheese on ground-feeding stations for ground feeders like robins, thrushes and blackbirds. Here’s how to make fat cakes for birds.
Pouring peanuts into a wire bird-feeder from a small flowerpot
Check bird boxes
Check bird boxes to make sure they are still safely fixed to the fence or wall and haven’t rotted. Remove any nesting material from previous years. If you need to replace the box or have space for more, bird boxes are available to buy and easy to make – here’s how to build a bird box.
A homemade bird box topped with sempervivums
Recycle the Christmas tree
You can recycle your Christmas tree by removing branches and bundling them together to make wildlife habitats. You can also chop up the trunk and add the pieces to your log pile.
Christmas tree foliage
Look out for bees
If you accidentally unearth a queen bee while digging, don’t rebury her. Gently put her somewhere cold and dry where she can continue hibernating and offer her a sugar solution of equal parts sugar and water in a bottle top or something similar. This will boost her energy to provide a new hibernation site and she may even establish an early nest.
A bee on iris flowers