Helping birds through the deep winter freeze

by Value hunter  

Our little feathered friends are out there in the big winter freeze, many starlings have young to feed, young blackbirds are leaving their winter nests, wagtails are still around as are robins and traditionally winter birds that frequent the UK at this time of year, it's vital that food supplies for them continue.
Food supplies are relatively easy to provide and can also be used to reduce the amount of rubbish thrown away in your general waste bins.

Christmas nuts:
In our house at christmas, we always have a tub of salted and dry roasted peanuts. Not in large quantities, but enough to always have some left over after the event.
Instead of throwing these away as they go stale in their little tubs, we crush them up together and mix them up with some warmed up fat/dripping/lard and put this mixture into old flora margarine tubs. Once they have cooled down, the now solid blocks are put outside for the birds.

Waste fat - dripping - lard:
We use a chip pan in our house, chips, etc, all taste better when cooked in lard or dripping.
When the fat needs changing, it used to be poured into old coffee jars and thrown our with our general rubbish.
For the past 12 months, it has been melted and poured into old margarine tubs, crushed nuts or old stale biscuits are broken up and mixed into it, then it is cooled and placed outside for the birds to eat.
Birds need fat content, it helps bulk them up and it helps with their plumage.

Old stale bacon rashers sitting in your fridge are an ideal food source for our feathered friends. Bacon rind, bacon fat and the bacon meat itself, are excellent fodder.
Rather than put out full rashers for the birds, cut them up into tiny pieces with scissors.
This way the local cats will not eat the bacon and bigger birds will not get all the food.
Plus, when in small pieces, the birds, who don't have much time to stand and eat remember, can take a piece of the bacon and fly back to their nest and eat it there or give it to their young, before a bigger bird or a predator comes along.

Even stale bread is a good food source for birds. Shreaded into small pieces, birds will often leave this easy food source for a day or so, until it is softened by the weather.

Birds eat berries - a fact we all seem to forget when it comes to winter feeding.
Pomegranate, chopped up and put out for birds as a bit of an experiment, turned out to be a spanking food source for our local birds.
As christmas fades away into the distance, any fruit that's beginning to turn can be cut up into small segments and put out.
Lemons, apples, oranges, satsumas, etc, all will be welcomed food sources for birds this winter.

Positioning any food you put out for birds is paramount.
Avoid putting food out near trees, shrubs, bushes, hedges, etc. Anywhere that cats and other predators have cover to hide in wait for birds is a bad location.
You don't need a bird table, an old chopping board or an old roof slate are just as good, but position it out in the open, the centre of a lawn, etc, giving birds a safe place to eat.

1 comment

Comment from: wilf [Visitor]  
Great to hear a use for old dripping fat from the chip pan/deep fat fryer..great chips and healthy birds.
30/01/15 @ 17:42

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