Wednesday 17 November 2010

Feed The Birds

I try to feed the birds all the year round, however, during the summer months I'm not so bothered if I forget to fill up the feeders as there's more food around for them to find themselves. Now that the colder weather is here I try to make sure that there's always something on the bird feeder for them. These suet blocks are great for the winter months as it helps to build up their fat reserves which they need in cold weather. The suet is mixed with insects, berries, mealworms etc. You can also make your own fatty treats easily and there's many recipes on the web. One thing to remember though, you should never feed fat to the birds which has been cooked as it blends with the meat juices and it's prone to smearing which is bad for the birds' feathers. Of course, clean fresh water is also important, and as the freezing temperatures arrive don't forget to check the water supply first thing in the morning as it will probably have frozen over. There's some great tips about what to and what not to feed birds on the R.S.P.B. website.

We visited a couple of garden centres at the weekend. From their insides you wouldn't think that they had anything to do with gardening. They were completely adorned with Christmas decorations and any gardening related products were few and far between. This is one of the reasons I much prefer nurseries to garden centres. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy looking round the garden centres at all the Christmas ware, just not when I'm looking for something for the garden.

I gave the allotment a miss at the weekend. The weather had been so bad last week that I'm sure it will have been too boggy to get anything done. The colder weather has definitely arrived and with it has been rain and strong winds. I think we'll have to snatch allotment days when we can from now on.


  1. So nice that you take so much care of the birds. I wish I could do it too, but I am afraid if I set out any treats, I will have a lot of crows taking them.

  2. I've just done the same at the weekend, the bird table and feeders are now fully stock with fat bulls, nuts and seeds to keep our feathered friends happy over the winter. I just need to sort out a bird bath.

  3. We feed the birds seed and nuts in the winter but this is a great idea. Our birdfeeder is right outside our kitchen window so we can sit and spy on them :-) I know what you mean about christmas stuff everywhere , not even the garden centre is safe :-)

  4. Our paths seem to be following the same routes at the moment.
    New bird tables in construction too

  5. What a great idea! The birds will appreciate a few extra calories when they can't get any themselves.

  6. Call me "tight" if you like (I prefer the term "economical"), but I seldom buy anything specifically for the birds to eat -- the exception being sunflower seeds. The reason is that we put out all sorts of scraps for them instead -- meat trimmings; left-over pastry items; stale bread etc - things you wouldn't normally want to put in the compost bin. The birds love the varied diet, and it all disappears very rapidly, especially when the Magpies are around.

  7. I shall start to scatter bird food outback again now that all the leaves have been cleared and the grass cut. I'll also make sure that there's water as well.
    Like you I much prefer nurseries and only visit garden centres if I really have to.
    I reckon that one visit a week to the plot to do anything is good going at this time of year. Mind you I've not got much to do thankfully. Flighty xx

  8. This year I had about 10 big sunflowers in the garden. They gave me so much seed that I will have enough to feed the birds all winter. I think I will be making seed balls and adding some nuts.

    Thanks for that link on feeding the birds.

  9. I've been feeding the swans and other birds as I walk the dog around the pond each morning. Now that it's getting cold they appreciate the surplus bread I feed them. Only problem is that they recognise the man with the red hat and the dog and now expect food. They career across the pond when we arrive. So now I'm a baking bread every day. It doesn't get a chance to go stale. (I must be a mug.)

    We have a garden feeding station too.

  10. Dried mealworms are on my shopping list when I go out later today Jo :) Have had fun already this morning watching the birds feed. I remember being annoyed last year when I wanted to buy some bulbs in November and did not have any joy at the local garden centres. Hoping to steal some lottie time this weekend - don't mind the cold as long as it's dry. Hope you get some suitable time.

  11. Dear Jo,

    My husband takes care of the birds in our garden. He puts out suet blocks, seed, water (heated once the ground freezes) and of course birdhouses for shelter. He does a great job and ensures I have plenty of winter entertainment outside the garden room windows.

    I know what you mean about English garden centers. I like them for the cafes and unusual gifts, but if I lived in UK I would not go there for plants and garden supplies. They are rather expensive, too, aren't they?

    Pam x

  12. What a great idea, I'm sure the birds really appreciate it!

    Victoria xx

  13. I bought mealworms for the birds in my Dad's garden one year and they pointedly ignored them, so I won't repeat that expensive mistake.

    Wet day here today, and having been away for several days in France on a work trip today is my only chance to tidy up in advance of fencing work we're having done this week. At least it just means moving stuff rather than digging.

  14. I suppose it's hard to attract the 'right kind' of birds when you only have a balcony, fer. We sometimes get pigeons in the garden which are a bit of a menace.

    I have a low bird bath which sits amongst the flowers in the border, Damo. The birds seem to like it as they're always taking baths in it.

    It's good to position the bird feeders where they can be seen from the house, Scented Sweetpeas. I can spend ages just sitting and watching the birds feeding, they fascinate me.

    Great minds think alike, Green Lane Allotments. I've got a feeding station in the back garden but I just hang the feeders in the trees at the front.

    I've just read that snow is expected in some parts of the UK this week, Matron. Those extra calories will be especially important for the birds in those regions.

    I wouldn't dream of calling you tight, Mark. I'm sure your birds are the best fed birds for miles around and are extremely grateful for their varied diet. You don't have to spend a penny to ensure that the birds are well fed.

    I feed the birds for my own benefit as well as their's, Flighty. I enjoy watching them and by feeding them I get to see more of them. I have a local nursery which is good so I'm lucky. I wouldn't want to have to do all my garden shopping in a garden centre. I've still got some digging to do at the plot but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't get done until spring.

    I've saved some sunflower seeds for the birds too, Vrtlarica. I don't think mine will last all winter though, you've done well with your's.

    We feed the swans at a nearby nature reserve, Mal. They can get quite nasty when they want something, in fact the kids had a couple of bites off them when they were little. I wouldn't like to be in your shoes with them careering across the pond.

    I find that dried mealworms are a favourite of the robins, Anna. Hope you managed to get some time at the lottie over the weekend.

    It's so entertaining watching the birds outside the window, Pam. It sounds like your birds are being well fed. Garden centres are expensive, you can find much better bargains at nurseries.

    Thanks for visiting, Victoria. Once you start feeding the birds, they do come back. They get used to where they feed from so I'm sure they do appreciate a regular food supply.

    Your dad must have some fussy birds, Linda. The birds here go mad for mealworms, they love them, especially the robins. Hope you managed to get tidied up ready for the fencing work to begin.

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  16. I love to feed the birds all year round too...I think water is just as important in the dry summer months as it is in the cold winter thing I will often do too is buy some bloodworm from the petshops to add a natural source of 'live food' for them in the spring when they are feeding young!!

  17. That's a good tip, Tanya. I buy mealworms but they've been dried. I'll definitely buy some bloodworm in spring.


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