Food is scarce in the depths of February. Barely any seeds, fallen berries or worms can be unearthed from frozen ground. Birds use valuable body fat searching for a meal, so high-fat food to replenish their stocks is in order. Fat-balls, suet pellets, peanuts, seeds, left-over pastry and coconuts are packed with healthy fats. This will guarantee an increase in feathered visitors to your garden.
Would You Like Ice With That?
Imagine eating nuts and not having a drink! Break ice on bird baths and continue to fill them each day.
Deter Unwanted Visitors
All year round squirrels will take bird food, but freezing weather means even greater scarcity of their natural diet. Try a squirrel-proof pole in the centre of your garden. Sparrow-hawks will also venture into gardens when it’s cold. Hang feeders near a covering hedge so blue-tits, chaffinch and sparrow feel safe.
You’ll probably see an increase in magpies and pigeons too. The problem with these larger birds is that they eat everything. Discourage them with seed feeders, and spread ground seeds thinly.
Early morning and evening are the best times to spot birds, when they fill up for the cold day or night ahead. Keep cats inside at this time, and minimise disruption in the garden. This will create a lifesaving source of food for birds. Keep filling those feeders though, because a wasted visit will burn fat reserves, and may result in little Bluey not making it through to spring.
Frosty weather provides great photo opportunities. Wrap up, and sit on a hot water bottle! To create the perfect snap, clear away garden toys and angle your camera towards frosted greenery.
Ground-feeders such as robins will do almost anything for mealworms. Throw a few near your bench and get ready. You probably won’t even need the zoom! February’s cold weather encourages birds to huddle for warmth, and they follow one another to food sources. Wrens are especially prone to flocking in cold weather. This is good news for a budding wildlife photographer!
Here’s a tip…for the perfect valentine’s day photo, roll up sheets at nightfall, create the shape of a heart on your grass, and when you pick them up in the morning you’ll have a gorgeous heart shape. Snap a robin in that and you’ll have a photo to keep for life.
It’s hard for birds caught in February’s chill, and it doesn’t cost a lot to feed them. Why not help birds out? It’ll give you more pleasure than you think.