Feeding the Birds Over the Winter

The cold spell last week saw snow falling in many parts of the UK. This is an inconvenience for many people but to the birds it can cause problems getting enough food.

In the winter birds require high fat foods during to maintain their fat reserves to survive the cold. Good quality food should be used.

The amount of food put out will depend on demand and birds may favour some types of food to others. For example, peanuts may be popular or fatcakes. Much of this will depend on the types of visitors to the feeders.

However, do not leave uneaten food out too long as it may go mouldy and cause illness in the birds.

Tealight Method for Water
Tealight Method for Water

Birds also need some fresh water but it is liable to freezing when the temperature is below freezing.

My solution to preventing frozen water is to place a tea light below an army hexamine stove (sometimes called Esbit stoves) and then place a bowl of water on top. The hexamine stoves can be bought is an army surplus store or on Ebay. The tealight will burn for between 3.5 and 7 hours depending on the size.

Some garden centres sell liquid which can be added to water but I prefer the tealight method as it works well and there is no danger of adding too much of this to the water.

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