#Birds – Getting Winter Ready

There has been a big change in weather, quite a drop in temperature and this has an effect on the birds. Some will be staying close by, either in your garden or at least in the UK but maybe moving south. A lot of birds will be starting out on a long journey that they need to be ready for. Getting the #birds winter ready is important for both those staying and those flying off to warmer climes.

Migrating bird getting ready for winter

Migration is the only way that some #birds can survive through the winter. They wouldn’t make it if they stayed. For those who get an abundance of insects in Scotland during the summer (the dreaded Midge being one) their larder closes up when the cold weather arrives. Africa provides the warmer climate and insect larder that they require.

Not all birds will make it through the journey. Some will fail to complete the trip due to weakness or disease, this prevents those with poor genes making it into the next breeding season.

If you’ve been feeding during the Summer, now is the time to step up the quantity and fat content of what you are putting out. Inclement weather poses a problem when feeding. Do not to fill a bird table for it to get wet and start going off. Put out food 2-3 times a day rather than a lot in one go. If you are not at home during the day then it’s best to use mesh feeders for nuts and tube feeders for the other food. Robins and Blackbirds can’t cling onto feeders the way some can, so they do need their food on the ground or on a bird table getting the #birds winter ready.

Robin, garden visitor

The beloved Robin

Robins are the birds most likely to stay with you throughout the winter, but some may fly to warmer winter sites such as Spain or Portugal. Don’t despair though if this is your favourite as it is for a lot of people because those spending summer farther north could be coming back to you to pick up a territory they held last winter in your garden. Some Robins will fight which can be lethal as they will defend their territories to the death where food supply is constrained.

A friendly Robin will follow you around the garden if you are tidying. They are looking for worms you may unearth and will come really close to you. If you pop a worm in your hand you might be lucky enough for it to come and eat it. Dried mealworms are a firm favourite with Robins, so you can try this with them when the snows come.

Enjoy your winter visitors and look after them well and they will reward you with hours of pleasure watching them on your feeders.