Encourage the birds into your garden this winter by following the RSPB’s top tips for looking after them through the cold snap…
1. Introduce a bird table and high calorie seed mixes. This can also be used to put out kitchen scraps such as animal fats, grated cheese and soaked dried fruit.
2. Put out hanging feeders for black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes or unsalted peanuts.
3. Ensure a supply of fresh water every day. If it is very cold use tepid water but DO NOT use any antifreeze products.
4. Birds also need somewhere to shelter during the colder months and they’ll often choose a nest-box to hide in, especially if the weather turns really bad. Don’t wait until spring. Put them up now and there’s no knowing what kind of winter guests they may attract.
You can even make you own bird cake! It may sound disgusting to you, but for birds it is Michelan Star quality. The cakes can be hung almost anywhere so it doesn’t matter if you have a balcony or a large garden, you can still make this to attact birds.
What you need:
For the Cake:
Good quality bird seed
Suet or lard
Yoghurt pot/Orange halves*
What to do:
1. Carefully make a small hole in the bottom of a yoghurt pot (make sure you get an adult to help you). Thread string through the hole and tie a knot on the inside. Leave enough string so that you can tie the pot to a tree or your bird table.
2. Allow the lard to warm up to room temperature, but don’t melt it. Then cut it up into small pieces and put it in the mixing bowl.
3. Add the other ingredients to the bowl and mix them together with your finger tips. Keep adding the seed/raisin/cheese mixture and squidging it until the fat holds it all together.
4. Fill your yoghurt pots with bird cake mixture and put them in the fridge to set for an hour or so.
5. Hang your speedy bird cakes from trees or your bird table.
For more great tips vist the BBC’s Autumn Watch website