Over recent years there has been a decline in the number of hedgerows in our countryside leading to a shortage of berry laden trees and shrubs which are a vital source of nutrition for native garden birds during the autumn and winter months.
Shrubs and trees such as Rowan, Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Hawthorn, and Yew provide a marvellous source of winter food for the birds but sadly there just aren’t enough to go round so take some time this weekend to visit your local garden centre or nursery and find a plant to suit you and your garden. I particularly like Rowan because of their attractive red, orange or yellow berries in late summer and autumn; the birds can easily strip a tree within a matter of days! The Rowan also has white flowers during April and May which provide another season of interest. Although they grow fast they are compact and suitable for most small gardens.
Until your plants establish the birds are relying on you to provide them with the resources they need to see them through the long, cold winter months. Below you will find a few things that you will need to keep your garden birds happy and healthy this winter so stock up now before the bad weather sets in.
Putting up a few bird houses or roosting pockets now will get the birds used to them before nesting time and may also be used as shelter during the colder days.
I have just bought myself a very pretty pied-à-terre for some luck residents of my new garden. It is a Gardman Country Cottage Nest Box in a lovely shade of green with a red cedar wood tiled roof. The entrance hole is 32mm which is suitable for many species including Sparrows, Great Tits and Nuthatches so I’m looking forward to attracting them into my garden.
I have placed it approximately 2m off the ground, away from any passing cats, and it is slightly hidden by a curtain of ivy which will give it shelter and somewhere for the birds to escape to if they need to.
Do your bit to help the birds…