Do you feed birds only in winter or all year round? There are also different opinions among ornithologists.
First of all, I find that birds are an important part of our garden. A garden in which many birds feel comfortable is also a garden in which people can feel good.
Especially for families with children, but also for seniors, it is a special nature experience to be able to watch birds at the feeding station. This particularly promotes the understanding of nature. Bird disappearance has been a big issue in recent years. That certainly has to do with the fact that the feathered friends find less and less food in our cleared landscape. We can at least remedy our small living space in the garden.
At this point months ago, I recommended not to immediately clear away all of the dead plants because they may no longer look as attractive. Rather, as many of the bloomed plants as possible with their seed heads should remain in a home garden.
Because they are the most important source of food for many birds in autumn and winter. Apart from that, such wilted stems and seed pods create structure in the garden in a season of the year that is otherwise only noticeable by sadness.
Feeding birds in winter: sunflower seeds are the first to be eaten
However, at some point these natural supplies will run out. So it’s worth checking regularly to see if there are any seeds left. Experience has shown that the sunflower seeds are the first to be eaten, they are obviously the favorite food for many bird species. But also the smaller grains of the various types of nettles, sweet peas and many other flowers find avid lovers. At the latest when it is really winter, the time for feeding has come.
There are basically three different types of bird feeding. The tit rings and dumplings, grain sticks and fat figures are classic. Different grains are shaped in a fat mixture and are suitable for hanging. If we buy this offer, we should make sure that the tit dumplings are without a plastic net.
In order to be able to offer them to the birds, there are small wire racks to hang up three to ten dumplings. These racks will last for many years. You can also make this food yourself. For “soft eaters” (e.g. robins, blackbirds, starlings, wren) we shouldn’t forget raisins and oatmeal soaked in fat. Basically, the different bird species also eat differently.
Feeding birds in winter: silos and birdhouses as ways of feeding
The second type of feeding are so-called silos. These are containers in which you can store a larger supply of feed. There are only small holes or cracks at the bottom from which the birds peck the food when they sit on perches in front of it. The advantage is that the animals cannot sit in the feed and it stays that way clean.
As a third type of feeding, the birdhouses are offered. The feed lies on the floor of the house and is protected from rain and snow by the roof and walls. Here, however, the animals can sit in the feed. The disadvantage: some birds droppings into the feed.
If there are sick animals underneath, the food is often contaminated and other birds can then become infected with the disease. That is why you should only equip a bird feeder with small portions and clean it thoroughly after they have been used. In any case, we should make sure that the feed stays dry. If it is damp, it spoils quickly, which leads to disease.
Feeding birds in winter: You can make tit balls and kits yourself
You can make rings and dumplings yourself. You need beef tallow, which is melted and then stretched with a fifth of oil to make it more elastic. Then you mix in grain feed, oat flakes, dried berries, sunflower seeds (60 percent) and shape the rings, dumplings or, with the help of cookie cutters, stars, mussels or whatever.
It is also popular to fill half a coconut shell with the fat mixture, but for this a stick must be firmly attached to the shell and poured in. The grain mixtures can be bought ready-made in stores. You can also build silos and birdhouses yourself with a little manual skill.
Construction kits are very simple, especially suitable for families with small children in dreary times. With a saw, a cordless screwdriver, some scraps of wood, glue and screws, you can also build your own bird feeders quickly and cheaply. It helps against boredom these days and makes the birds happy.