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Feeding birds in winter: what to look out for


If you want to make it easier for birds to overwinter with a little food, there are a few things to keep in mind. With these tips you can help the birdies in your garden to get strengthened and healthy over the cold days. A beautifully maintained feeding point helps birds to survive the winter well - Image: Shutterstock / gorillaimages

The period in which wild birds find it more difficult to feed is usually between November and the end of February. It usually makes sense to offer extra feed over this entire period of time, but birds will certainly accept the food offer with thanks at the latest when there is snow, ice and ground frost.

Hygienic feeding stations for birds

A good and hygienic choice for feeding wild birds is feed dispensers such as feeding columns, because the bird feed stays fresh for a long time, cannot get wet and does not become contaminated by birds roaming around in it. Under no circumstances should feces be able to get in, because there is a great risk that diseases will otherwise spread. Feeders in which the animals can run around are therefore less suitable, since feces are usually also drained there. If you want to feed a lot of birds, it is more advisable to set up several small feeding sites than one large one. Check and clean each feeding point regularly, preferably with hot water.

Placement of the winter bird restaurants

Whether feeding column or titballs, it is important that you place the food sources in winter so that the birds can eat there undisturbed and in the dry. The food should not be able to get wet in it so that it does not mold or spoil. Put small amounts of food in the dispenser and replace it regularly during cleaning.

Don't forget: bird food for winter

When the temperatures outside become wintry, it becomes increasingly difficult for wild birds to feed ...

Also hang up the stations so that stray cats may have a hard time getting to the feeding birds or are at least visible from a distance. Ideally, bushes, hedges or trees are in the immediate vicinity, so that the fluttering men can seek shelter at any time when a predator approaches. In addition, always ensure that there is sufficient distance from the house. If this is not possible, you should cover all the glass panes of your windows and doors near the feeding area with birds of prey stickers or similar signals to prevent the birdies from flying against them and injuring themselves.

Tips on water and feed

If it is so cold that the water is frozen over, you can also provide a bird bath or simply a bowl of water that you regularly refill and clean in between. You can buy the bird food in pet shops and in many supermarkets or drugstores, or mix it yourself from a few simple ingredients. You can find tips for this here: For winter: make bird feed yourself.