With temperatures likely to fall over the coming weeks, Petmania are reminding the public to look after feathered garden visitors.
“Garden birds need to eat high energy food to keep warm and a helping hand at dinner time will be appreciated as many foods become scarce during Winter months. Little changes can make a huge difference for the welfare are a comfort of garden birds,” says Emily Miller, Marketing Manager with Petmania.
Ten ways to look after garden birds during Winter:
- Top quality and high energy blend of seeds will provide garden birds with a high energy diet and different types of seed will attract different types of birds. Crushed up peanuts and sunflower seeds will work as enjoyable treats for the smaller species of birds like sparrows and finches.
- If you happen to have overripe apples that are heading for the bin, chop them into small piece and scatter them onto the grass. Blackbirds, in particular, will love this.
- When temperatures drop, usual water sources can freeze over. Birds still need to bathe and drink so always make sure there is a fresh water source. An upturned garden bin lid is a great makeshift option.
- Place all feeders and bird baths out in the open so that cats and other predators can’t pounce! Bird feeders do not need to be hidden in a corner of the garden as they will happily feast near the house or a window. Make sure your feeders, baths and birdhouses are faced away from daytime sunshine and the path to the entrance is clear.
- Birds won’t like soggy food that has been ruined by rain so remove any food that has been damaged by snow or rain.
- Don’t ever feed dried coconut, uncooked rice or dry bread to birds as it can cause their stomachs to swell.
- Store your bird seed in a cool, dry place, and ideally in a sealed storage bin.
- Once you begin to feed birds, they will quickly become dependent so make sure to continue providing seeds until temperatures pick up in Spring.
- If you are using a bird seed mix, always choose quality over quantity! Cheaper mixes will contain high amounts of grains like wheat which aren’t good for birds.
- Consider taking part in Birdwatch Ireland’s ‘Garden Bird Survey’ which takes place from December to February each year. The organisation ask members to keep track of the bird species who are visiting their garden. See www.birdwatchireland.ie
- Petmania stock a wide range of quality bird mix seed and their expert staff can advise on what bird feeding options will work best for gardens. See Petmania.ie for more!