Feeding birds in winter: what you should pay attention to

If you want to make it easier for birds to overwinter with some food, you should pay attention to a few things. With these tips you can help the birdies in your garden to get through the cold days stronger and healthy.

A well-maintained feeder helps birds survive the winter well - Image: Shutterstock / gorillaimages

A well-maintained feeder helps birds survive the winter well – Image: Shutterstock / gorillaimages

The period when wild birds have more difficulty finding food is usually between November and the end of February. It usually makes sense to offer extra food over this entire period of time, but birds will certainly gratefully accept the offer of food when there is snow, ice and ground frost at the latest.

Hygienic feeding stations for birds

A good and hygienic choice for feeding wild birds are feeders such as bird feeders, because the bird feed stays fresh in them for a long time, cannot get wet and cannot get dirty from birds walking around in them. Under no circumstances should feces be able to get in, because there is a great risk that diseases will otherwise spread. Bird feeders, in which the animals can run around, are therefore less suitable, as this is where excrement is usually drained. If you plan to feed a large number of birds, it is better to set up several small feeders than one large one. Check and clean each feeding station regularly, preferably with hot water.

Placement of the winter bird restaurants

Whether feeding column or fat balls: It is important that you place the food sources in winter in such a way that the birds can eat there undisturbed and in the dry. The feed should not be able to get wet in it, so that it does not become moldy or spoil. Put small amounts of food in the dispensers and change them out regularly when cleaning.

Don't forget: birdseed for the winter - Image: Shutterstock / wim claes

11/13/2014 – 1:23 p.m

Don’t forget: birdseed for the winter

As temperatures outside turn to winter, it becomes increasingly difficult for wild birds to find food…


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Also, hang up the stations in such a way that any stray cats will find it difficult to get to the feeding birds, or at least be visible from afar. Ideally, there should be bushes, hedges or trees in the immediate vicinity so that the flappers can always seek shelter in them if a predator approaches. In addition, always make sure you keep a sufficient distance from the house. If this is not possible, you should put raptor stickers or similar signals on all glass panes of your windows and doors near the feeding area to prevent the birdies from flying against them and injuring themselves.

Tips on water and food

When it’s cold enough to freeze water bodies, you can also provide a bird bath, or simply provide a bowl of water that you refill and clean regularly. You can buy the birdseed in pet shops and in many supermarkets or drugstores, or you can mix them yourself from a few simple ingredients. You can find tips for this here: For the winter: make your own bird seed.

You might also be interested in these animal articles:

Feeding squirrels in winter: tips

Feeding stray cats in winter: tips

Protect dog paws from ice, sand and road salt

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