Tips on feeding garden birds in winter

Tips on feeding garden birds in winter

Life can be tough for birds in winter. There’s less food around, and at the same time, they need to eat more, to keep warm. To maintain their energy level, you can support your garden birds. Don't let garden birds suffer in winter, but make your garden their favourite spot to stop by for dinner. We can help our garden birds get through the cold months by putting out the right sort of food. We show you what kind of food different garden birds need. 

Feeding birds in winter

In winter, birds need high calories, giving them the fuel they need to keep warm and healthy. A supply of clean water is also vital for birds in winter, when puddles and other natural water sources may be frozen over. Birds need water both for drinking and for washing so that their feathers can provide effective insulation against the cold.

Good winter bird foods

In our garden centre, we offer different types of food to offer your garden birds. Different types of birds like different kinds of food. If you want to attract various garden birds, you should combine several winter bird foods.

  • Suet balls are packed with high-energy fats and are popular winter food for many garden birds. Remove any netting or mesh bags before hanging them up, to avoid birds getting their feet caught in the netting. 

  • Mealworms can be spread on bird tables or scattered on the ground. If you are using dried mealworms, soak them in warm water for up to an hour before putting them out, to provide an added hydration source for birds.   Mealworms are popular with robins, blue tits and blackbirds.

  • Sunflower hearts are high in fat and can be used in feeders, tables, or scattered for ground-feeding birds. They are good for attracting tits, greenfinches and chaffinches, among other birds. 

  • Nyjer seeds are tiny black seeds packed with high-energy oils. Because they are so small, you will need a special feeder for them. Goldfinches and siskins love nyjer seeds. 
  • Fruit such as bananas, apples and pears placed on bird tables will attract thrushes, tits, starlings, and blackbirds.
  • Pieces of uncooked, unsalted fat from meat make good winter bird food.  Hang them up so that small birds such as tits can take morsels, but make sure they are securely attached so that bigger birds don’t steal the whole piece. And never put out cooked fat, as it is likely to have absorbed salts during the cooking process that are toxic to birds.

Tips for feeding birds

If you follow these tips for feeding garden birds, you will enjoy flying creatures in your back yard continuously, 

  • Place feeders in the open, so that birds can see cats approaching and escape in plenty of time.

  • It can take a while for birds to find your feeder, so don’t worry if you have no visitors for a few weeks after you put up a new feeder.

  • Clean feeders regularly to avoid transmitting diseases.

  • Keep feeders topped up, especially in winter, so birds don’t waste energy visiting an empty feeder.

  • Don’t leave uneaten food sitting on trays, as it is likely to attract rats. Adjust the amount you provide so that you only put out what will be eaten.

We have everything you need to take care of your garden birds this winter, including feeders, tables and a wide range of bird foods. Visit us to stock up on all your gardening essentials.

You might also be interested in:

Maintaining an aquarium

Maintaining an aquarium is easy with these tips to make sure your water, plants and fish are kept healthy, well and in good shape. Especially if you are new to keeping an aquarium there are a few elements to take into account when planning how you will keep it looking great. Aquariums can bring so much joy to a home, from fascinating fish and lush green plants to mesmerising lighting and calming water ripples. Here is how to take care of your aquarium.

Create an easy ...

5 beautiful indoor hanging plants

Indoor hanging plants add an extra dimension to a room, with their foliage cascading elegantly from baskets or spilling down from shelves and ledges. And despite their exotic appearance, many hanging plants are straightforward to grow and take care of. Here are five of our favourite indoor hanging plants.

1. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

The spider plant gets its name from its shape, forming a tuft of slender, arching green and white-striped leaves. In s...

Prepare your spring garden

Wondering how to prepare your spring garden? As your bulbs pop up through the soil, you will know that spring is definitely in the air. The birds will be singing and beginning to search for nesting spaces, and there will be more days with blue skies and warmer sunshine than we’ve seen over the winter months. Spring is truly food for the soul as we each feel like we are coming out of hibernation and getting ready for the months ahead. Here is how to prepare your spring garden....

How to grow potatoes

Fancy eating your own home-grown potatoes this summer? Now’s the time to start planting. And if you don’t have a big garden, you can still grow early potatoes in a pot or grow bag on a sunny patio. Here are our top tips on growing potatoes.

Which potatoes to grow

Potatoes are grouped into first early, second early, and maincrop potatoes. 

  • First and early potatoes are planted in early spring, and second early potatoes a couple of weeks lat...


Opening hours

  • Monday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Friday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday
    09:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday
    10:30 - 16:30
Show all opening hours