Winter is a time when nature is resting and very few plants bear fruit. It is very difficult for herbivorous animals, including birds, to feed themselves at this time of the year, so people try to help the birds with food. When feeding birds, you must first inquire about what kind of food suits them.
Each species is adapted to a specific type of feeding, junk food can harm the health of birds.
What birds fly to the feeder?
The main problem for birds in the cold season is not cold at all, because a feather coat protects them from it. But to maintain a fairly high body temperature, about + 40 °, food helps them. The lower the temperature outside, the more heat the bird loses. To maintain it, she needs more feed. Moreover, in winter, the day is significantly shortened, and at twilight the birds are not able to find food for themselves. Therefore, they need to diligently absorb food during the day, and this is where a person helps them.
In winter, a wide variety of birds can be seen in the feeders. It all depends on the food that is in them, because each bird prefers its own kind of delicacy. The most frequent visitors to such street dining are, of course, titmouses and sparrows. The common tit is a rather active bird. She is able to ride the most intricate feeders and even those that swing. Titmouses love sunflower seeds. From a mixture of seeds, they find exactly them, and the rest are scattered on the ground, which other birds actively use, picking them up.
The common great tit is a very grateful bird. Receiving top dressing in winter, in summer she will repay with kindness and look after your garden. It is known that 1 couple takes 40 fruit trees under their protection. She collects all kinds of pests from them. Birds feed their chicks with them. Surprisingly, she feeds them about 350 times per day. There are other species of titmouse, which arrive in winter in bird catering. This is a blue tit - a bird in a blue hat, a puff - a small black bird with white additives, a Muscovy - a small titmouse with a white crown. But these guests are more rare and less active.
The sparrow is another avid feeder visitor. These are noisy and impudent birds, the undisputed leaders of feeders, but they also bring invaluable benefits in the fight against parasites. Once the Chinese came to the conclusion that sparrows were stealing large quantities of rice from the fields. They declared birds to be national pests and destroyed almost all of them. Several years later, their plantations were filled with crowds of pests that cause various diseases, after which the sparrows had to be artificially imported and re-bred. As a rule, in winter, sparrows live in the city, and in summer they fly to the countryside. The presence of these birds indicates the high environmental friendliness of the area. By the way, there are so few of them in London that they are listed in the Red Book.
The bullfinch also actively visits the bird canteen. The handsome red-finned male is known to everyone. Females are less attractive, grayish in color. Nuthatch is an inhabitant of forests and parks, a fast and thrifty bird. After he has eaten on the spot, he will definitely take a couple of grains with him and hide them in the bark of a tree in reserve. Quite often, you can find a woodpecker in the feeder. He loves peanuts and other nuts.
And also among the guests of the feeder in winter, the following birds are noticed:
What can you put?
The food for the birds is varied. Most often, all kinds of cereals are poured into the feeders. It is permissible to give the birds the following grains:
- pearl barley;
- Hercules (only in flakes);
Groats can be poured raw, boiled until cooked or until half cooked. And you can also make an assortment by mixing several of their varieties. To make sure that all the ingredients are correct and will not harm you, purchase special bird mixes at pet stores. Sunflower seeds are an essential component of bird feed. Many birds love them. These seeds are high in fat and therefore in calories, making them a good source of energy. In addition to sunflower seeds, you can put pumpkin and watermelon seeds in the feeders. They must first be crushed.
Also suitable for feeding birds and seeds of other plants. But they should be prepared in advance. So, in order to feed the birds with quinoa seeds, the plants are harvested, tied in small bouquets and stored until winter. In cold weather they are placed in the ground or snow, and everyone can enjoy a treat. Suitable for birds and seeds of ash, maple. In the fall, they are collected and saved, and in the winter they are filled in the feeders. Feathered and seeds of such plants as nettle, burdock, horse sorrel do not disdain. Many people prefer acorns and all kinds of nuts: peanuts, forest nuts. Hawthorn and mountain ash are especially preferred. These berries are harvested and dried in season.
From plant foods, birds can be offered apples or carrots. And also the feeders are filled with dried insects and their larvae.
To increase the calorie intake and energy value of complementary foods, lard and meat are offered to birds. They are used raw. You can also use fat: beef, chicken, pork, lamb and horse meat. It is mixed with cereals and gets a pretty good dish, beloved by birds. They also love finely chopped bacon skins. But fats must be used in doses, because their excess can lead to a deterioration in the liver condition in birds.
What else is put in the bird feeder is bread, but exclusively white. Black varieties are categorically contraindicated. It can be crumbled or used as an ingredient for making bird pie. To do this, take bread crumbs and sunflower seeds, pour them with oil and freeze them, and then hang them by a rope. White bread crumbs are also mixed with low-fat cottage cheese. It is allowed to give boiled eggs and crushed eggshells to birds. Put the butter in a piece directly into the trough.
It is worth considering the following mandatory requirements for bird feed:
- do not salt;
- do not fry;
- do not add seasonings and spices.
Below is a table showing the preferred food for the most frequent diners.
Sunflower, linseed, pumpkin seeds, bacon, meat, fat, oatmeal, dried berries, butter, nuts.
Seeds, oatmeal, wheat, barley, bread crumbs, rice, mealworms.
Rowan, hawthorn, watermelon and melon seeds, maple seeds.
Seeds, bread crumbs, oatmeal, barley, wheat, rice, oats, millet.
Acorns, peanuts, bread, nuts, watermelon seeds and melons.
Cones, watermelon and melon seeds, sunflower seeds.
Meal worm, bloodworm.
Seeds, oatmeal, berries, oil, lard.
Important! Eggshells are suitable for all birds.
What can not be fed?
You should adhere to the main rules for restricting feeding of birds.
- It is strictly forbidden to give salty foods to birds: seeds, nuts, bacon and meat. Since birds do not have sebaceous glands, salts are excreted from their body only by the kidneys. With an excess of salt, these organs will quickly stop working, which can even lead to the death of birds.
- Fried food (nuts, seeds) is dangerous because during this process the fats change their formula. It damages the liver.
- Black bread and millet are also banned. Millet does not have a shell, for example, like millet, because of this, the grain quickly oxidizes in a humid environment. Harmful bacteria and toxins accumulate on its surface. Black bread is dangerous for birds, as it causes increased fermentation in the intestines, which even leads to volvulus. This is due to its high acidity and humidity. And also rye starch is poorly absorbed in the bird's body.
- Cherry, apricot, plum kernels, almonds contain hydrocyanic acid. For birds, even in small quantities, it is a toxic substance, therefore such products are not allowed in the feeders either.
- Potatoes continue the list of unacceptable poultry products. In its raw form, it contains a lot of solanine, which is a bird poison. Boiled potatoes contain a lot of starch, which is bad for digestion.
- Canned food is not suitable due to the presence of various additives in them: preservatives, salt, sugar, vinegar and spices. Also, do not put cat and dog food in the feeders. They contain yeast and soy.
Important! We do not offer birds that musty, moldy food, or missing grain.
To lure birds to the feeder, you need to understand that they should be fed, and not fed. This is especially true for small forest birds such as titmouses, woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays. Feeding involves the constant presence of food in the trough. At the same time, the birds begin to be lazy and no longer fly to get food on their own, they feed exclusively on government grubs. In feeders, as a rule, there is always the same food. When a bird regularly eats the same foods, especially those with fats, this is bad for its body. Usually such individuals are easy to recognize. They are larger than others and have feathers. By the way, this process is associated with the preservation of heat when the birds do not feel well.
When they are simply fed, they have to get food on their own the rest of the time. In nature, they feed on insects that hide in the tree bark in winter, as well as on some seeds. And people eat lard, grain, nuts and so on. And you get a pretty varied diet. Thus, the feeding supports the birds, but also prevents them from getting out of tone. Therefore, it is worth accustoming feathered friends to the fact that you will feed them 1 or 2 times a day. It is worth filling their plate at certain times. It is better to do this before sunset, so that the feathered guests leave at night well-fed. It is not recommended to systematically feed the birds. The fact is that they very quickly get used to such a good cause. 4–5 days of regular feeding is enough, and the bird will become a regular guest. And if you go somewhere, then she will spend precious hours,flying uselessly to your home.
Feeders are installed on trees, but so as not to lure street animals: cats, dogs, and at such a height that they do not get to the bird food. In addition, food can be placed in other ways. Pieces of bacon and meat, berries are strung on a rope and hung on the branches. And also the branches are watered with animal fat. It freezes and the birds peck at it.
If "cafes" for birds are installed on the street near a private house, then it is better to do this away from the building. Such visitors are very messy and throw food in different directions. Since the trough contains all sorts of foods, they become breeding grounds for debris, bacteria and parasites. It is necessary to monitor its cleanliness, periodically cleaning it, otherwise the birds risk becoming infected.
It remains to figure out when to start feeding the birds. Snow and ice cover serve as special indications for this, since under such covers it is much more difficult to get food. And also the first colds and frosts, when the amount of food in nature is reduced, and the need for it in the bird's body increases significantly. It turns out that feeding the birds is not easy. You can not pour anything into their feeder.
In addition, the birds are indiscriminate in their food and do not understand what can be consumed and what not. Therefore, be careful when choosing food for birds so as not to harm them.
For information on how to properly feed the birds in winter, see the next video.