Spring really isn’t that far away, despite the cold winds whipping against the window as I type! We are huge lovers of outdoor living at The Orchard, personally having grown up in the countryside and now living in rural Leicestershire the Great British outdoors is dear to my heart.
When we first started The Orchard, items for the garden where part of our collections from day one, after all we are a nation of garden lovers. What we hadn’t quite estimated however was how many of you are bird lovers.
Year in, year out, season after season bird related items are best selling items time and time again. Thus with Spring firmly on our minds we wanted to share with you a little more about some of the great creature comforts The Orchard has to offer our feathered friends as they migrate back to our gardens as well as giving a little advice on what, how and when to feed them.
First you’ll need to know what birds you are most likely to expect at any given time in your garden. Just because you don’t have the biggest garden doesn’t mean you can’t attract some great British birds and encourage them to make your own little bit of paradise their home as well.
The most likely visitors to your garden of the feathered variety will be House Sparrows, Starlings, Robins, Blue and Great Tits and Blackbirds. If you are particularly lucky you may also see Collard Doves, Green Finches, Song Thrushes and House Martins. My Mum (who is a closet Twitcher) also sees the occasional Bluejay and one year two Peacocks but they had got lost on an excursion from a nearby botanical garden and are unlikely to turn up on your bird table any time soon!
The best way to attract Song Thrushes is to ensure a good supply of fruit and berries, this also applies for Blackbirds. Our fence feeders are perfect for leaving berries and pieces of fruit in, as well as the usual seed;-
For birds like Wrens that are part of a group of insect eaters known as Tree Creepers, food stuffed into the bark of trees or in greenery growing up buildings may well be the best way to attract these very small and often timid birds.
It is actually more important than you think to feed your garden birds the right types of food to ensure their health as well as guarantee a wide range of different visitors to your garden throughout the year.
So when should we feed our feathered friends, all year round, only during the cold and more severe months? The answer is all year round, however there will be times that are more crucial than others despite the fact that for birds a food shortage can occur at any time of the year.
Taking advice from the RSPB we found out when during the year we should feed what. Here’s what they have to say;-
Spring & Summer
During these two seasons food can do more harm than good and therefore it is important to only feed selected food, with good hygiene being vital. Birds require higher protein foods during this time especially when molting, so feeding should include foods such as black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas and currants, grated cheese, mealworms, wax worms, mixes for insect eating birds and good seed mixtures without loose peanuts.
Fresh fruit can include soft apples and pears cut in half, bananas and grapes.
Our bird feeders are an ideal decorative way to get seed to your feathered friends;-
Avoid the urge to use soaked dog or cat food as this can attract Magpies, Crows and cats.
The main reason for avoiding mixes with loose peanuts or loose peanuts during this time is to prevent adult birds trying to feed them to their nestlings. Also remember that homemade fat balls can go soft and rancid at this time of year from the heat and should therefore be avoided. Shop bought fat balls are fine to use but with any remnants being discarded of after 3 weeks.
Other than Winter a key time for food shortages can be during the breeding season. It is therefore important to ensure a supply of extra food that can make a big difference to the survival of young chicks. If the weather turns cold during these months insects can be in short supply while extremely hot weather will deter earthworms from coming to the surface creating a food shortage for many ground feeders due to the hard soil.
Autumn & Winter
There is no time more important than the Autumn/Winter months to provide food for your garden visitors. Food and water should be replenished on a regular basis and in severe weather as often as twice daily if possible.
We have some fantastic accessories for providing water instead of traditional bird baths, take a look here;-
Birds need enough sustenance during the winter months to ensure the upkeep of their fat reserves in order to survive the frosty nights. It is important therefore to only use good quality food and scraps. Once you establish a feeding routine try not to break it as the birds will become used to it and time their visits accordingly.
We’ve talked about the birds that visit our gardens and once you start getting regularly visitors I’m sure you’ll want them to stick around for the spring, summer and beyond. What better way than to offer them the ultimate home to stay in and nest, our bird houses are the perfect solution;-
To see our full Creature Comforts collection including bird baths and feeders please visit our website http://www.theorchardhomeandgifts.com/section.php/117/1/creature-comforts or call us on 0845 643 0363.
Bird Baths & Feeders From The Orchard
You’ll find items you’ll want to buy for you and your garden including bird baths, feeders and many other products which will keep them happy. You’ll also find great gardening gifts, a range of garden tools as well as garden pots and planters including an exclusive collection from the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens.