If you followed my advice last year and bought a pot grown Christmas tree, or have previously done so, sooner or later you’ll be looking for a space in your garden for it, and all gardens benefit from a tree or two. All trees, whether Christmas or not, are wonderful for wildlife, and make great places to hang bird feeders. The regular branch spacing of fir trees renders them particularly suitable. This time of year the wildlife needs a little help, so feeding the birds is a good thing to do. If you do it regularly you’ll attract more birds, and a greater variety, particularly if you vary the feeder types and food. This has the bonus of enabling you to study these fascinating creatures as well as looking after the eco system.
A few do’s and don’ts. Clean feeders regularly to avoid spreading disease, and position out of reach of marauding cats. Choosing feeders wisely can determine the types of birds attracted. An open, accessible feeder may only ever attract voracious starlings or crows, which frighten away the smaller finches and tits. Use decent quality feed if you can afford it, as the cheaper ones have a lot of inedible “filler” in them which chokes up the feeders, whist food scraps are often unhealthy for the birds, and can attract vermin, particularly if simply thrown on the ground.
So that’s it, treat the birds this winter. Even if you don’t have room, a feeder, nest box or bird table makes a great present for someone who does.