As the weather cools, we tend to increase the amount of time we spend indoors, wrapped up warm and with the central heating turned on. Wild birds don’t have this luxury and as the temperatures drop to freezing or below, they really do have to use their survival skills to get through.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not the cold itself that birds struggle with. Covered with numerous layers of down, they are very nicely insulated. And birds that have recently migrated to the UK from the Arctic will find the conditions pleasantly mild in comparison.
The real problem that wild birds encounter during the winter months is finding enough food to ensure they can build up and sustain the fat supplies necessary to keep them going. The birds have even more difficulty in snow and ice, which prevents them from being able to find natural foods, or for water birds, forces them away from rivers and lakes.
Garden feeding stations, with regular supplies of high-energy wild bird seed and accessible fresh water, can prove a lifeline for birds. Areas where the weather is milder and food is easier to find will see a rise in numbers of birds. Those with feeding stations in their gardens may see an increase in the number of greenfinches, chaffinches and other small birds frequenting them, attracted by wild bird seed, scraps and other nourishing treats.
Birds may change the way they behave during very cold weather. It becomes a delicate balancing act between conserving precious energy and eating adequate amounts of food sufficiently quickly. In the winter, goldcrests, blue tits and other small birds must consume about 30% of their body weight during daylight hours in order to ensure they have enough fat reserves to last them overnight. Jays and other hoarders get ready for winter in autumn by preparing stashes of food they can return to.
Many types of wild bird instinctively group together when the weather is bad. By cuddling up with each other at night, often on top of centrally heated buildings, they can conserve that all-important body heat. Staying together also gives them a greater chance of finding food.
Placing a feeder in your garden will make a big difference to birds in your area. Providing some wild bird seed and fresh water each day will attract an array of birds for you and your friends and family to observe and have fun identifying.
For Free Feeding Advice Contact us today on 01469 577007 to place your order.