Provide unfrozen water daily for the birds to drink and bathe in. Make sure you provide plenty of food off the ground such as fatty peanut cakes and high energy garden bird food. The breeding season is about to start to do provide nest boxes if you have the opportunity in your garden. Look out for Mistle Thrush and Redwings during cold spells.
Keep feeding the same nutritious food and unfrozen water that you did in January. Top up the supplies regularly and keep on top of hygiene in the feeding stations. Chances are, you’ll have plenty more birds visiting in the winter months and it’s important to keep feeding areas clean. Also, check your nest boxes if you haven’t already done so to make sure they are easily accessible for the birds as they begin to prepare their nests. Be prepared for sharp weather changes as February can be unpredictable.
As spring time approaches bird song will intensify as the male birds compete for the females. Don’t reduce the amount of garden bird food you provide as the birds will still be struggling to find food naturally and need more energy during the breeding season. It’s the last chance to clean out that nest box or provide a new one in time for the nesting season, and ensure that it’s protected from predators.
Keep your feeders topped up as the weather is still unpredictable and can serve both warm spring temperatures and snow and sleet. Consider feeding the birds live foods as some birds don’t eat seeds and can really benefit from these. To help the birds build their nests you can put out pet hair or wool from sheep so they can line their nests with it.
A high activity month with plenty of bird song as the breeding season reaches its peak and eggs are hatched. By the end of the month many baby birds will have already learned to fly and left the nest, and demand high protein food from their parents. You can help them by feeding live foods and keeping the nutritious seeds topped up.
The young birds are coming into their own and there will still be high activity in the garden as they learn to fly and become independent. Keep your garden protected from predators such as cats by fitting them with a bell to warn off birds of ensure they will be deterred from entering your garden with special deterring products such as sprays. Bear in mind that some eggs are yet to hatch, for example House Martin eggs.
Keep providing water as it will evaporate in hot weather. You should also keep providing food as normal and ensure you stay on top of the cleaning of feeding areas. Most of the young would have left the nest and activity levels may start to die down in your garden. Keep an eye out for baby birds such as Robins and tits and note if they look different to their parents, or if they are just smaller copies.
August is much the same as July, however, some species are leaving for their natural habitats in woods and fields while the summer migrates start preparing to return. The last broods of young are expected this month so it’s important to keep your food supply high on protein for the little ones. Even if you have less visitors this month, don’t stop leaving food out for the birds as they might not come back come winter.
The nesting season is over for most bird species and many of the visiting birds will return south for the winter. With natural food supplies being widely available you will probably see a decrease in garden visitors, but like August, don’t stop putting out food.
Another quiet month in the garden as natural food is plentiful. Take advantage of the calm and have a clean out of your feeding stations and nest boxes in preparation for next month. Stock up on highly nutritious garden bird food and fatty bird food such as peanut cakes.
As the weather starts turning colder more and more birds will find their way to your garden as the natural food resources become scarce. Winter migrants start to arrive and by the end of the month you should have seen a significant increase in garden visitors. Be sure to provide unfrozen water regularly in case of freezing conditions.
By December your garden will be busier with more birds seeking food and water. You might need to increase the amount of food you put out to make sure there is enough for everyone. Also, vary the types of food you offer to accommodate the different eating habits of the birds. You can start thinking about where to put up the nest box next year or even take in down for a clean in preparation for the breeding season starting in the early part of next year.
Follow these basic tips and you can enjoy bird song and bird watching all year round while helping our feathered friends.
Tina Smith is a keen bird watcher and loves providing food and water for birds throughout the year. She can recommend the high quality selection of garden bird food from Peckish all year round.