Winter is the most difficult time of year for garden wildlife, as natural food resources begin to dwindle.
There are many convenient ways to help wildlife without spending a fortune. Even something as simple as putting on a dish of water helps. Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, you can make a real difference to the creatures that visit your backyard.
For tips on what to do, visit our wildlife gardening tip guides
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1. Feed the birds
While you might try to keep your bird feeders full throughout the year, now is the most crucial time. Birds need a lot of food to get through the long, cold nights, and even a day or two without food can be fatal for the birds that depend on you.
Since different species of birds like to feed in different places, ideally place them in feeders, on
a bird table and a floor. But remember that only a proper feeder can protect squirrel food, and food on the ground can expose birds to predators, such as cats.
To reduce disease, clean and sanitize feeders and feeders regularly. Ideally, you should also move feeders around the garden to prevent contamination from building up in an area. But keep them away from birdhouses; all the comings and goings near a feeder can disturb nesting birds and also attract predators.
Protect bird food with a squirrel-proof bird feeder from Best Buy
2. Provide fresh water
Provide a shallow water dish for the birds to bathe or drink year round. In winter, check regularly that it has not frozen. If so, don’t waste time and energy trying to thaw it; simply replace it with fresh water.
Give it a deep scrub once a week to keep it clean.
3. Help the birds to feed
Add plants to your garden that provide natural food resources for birds during the winter. Those with attractive seeds, like teasel, will provide seeds for the birds to eat and also a habitat for spiders and insects that the birds will eat as well.
The berry-producing shrubs are also a useful food source while being colorful during this dull time of year. Try popular shrubs and trees, like rowan, euonymus and Opulus viburnum. You’ll find all kinds of creatures eating them, not just birds.
Ivy might get a bad rap, but mature ivy is an incredible source of pollen when it blooms in the fall and of high fat berries in the winter. Look for varieties with attractive and colorful leaves.
Try our best winter plants to attract birds
4. Install a birdhouse
Expect spring by installing a birdhouse now. Wood and wood-concrete (wood-fiber reinforced concrete) are good materials for nesting boxes, but research shows that birds prefer and do better in wood-concrete nesting boxes. Wood concrete tends to be more expensive, but a wood concrete box will last forever and therefore is probably worth the extra cost.
Another less obvious benefit of a wood concrete box is that the hole will resist enlargement by predators. You can do the same for a wooden crate by placing a metal ring around the entry hole. Regarding the size of the hole, if you live in an area that has been colonized by ring-necked parakeets and want to prevent them from using your nest box, make sure the entrance hole is no larger than 32mm wide, which will be suitable for blue and large breasts. Parakeets need a hole of at least 40mm.
Whatever birdhouse you buy or make, place it facing north and east. Place it one to three meters above the ground and use a shelter or a wall if you are not planting trees.
Explore our Best Buy birdhouses
5. Try a bat box
The occupancy of bat nesting boxes is generally lower than that of birds. Bats are also more difficult to
keep track of that birds. Birds tend to use only one nesting box, but bats typically move around a group of roosts, each using different purposes – nursery colonies, bachelor quarters, night roosts, and roosts. coupling.
However, you can get better results by placing the box in a sunny location as bats like to be warm.
Read our tips for buying a bat box