Time to Prepare

An Article by Mike Stentiford, MBE

It's quite easy to get the impression that the onset of autumn is greeted with huge delight by just about every member of the wildlife clan.

 

 

While we enjoy the wonderful displays at the annual harvest festival, all creatures’ great and small likewise relish the opportunity of gorging themselves on the seasonal ripening of fruit and berries or nibbling away at the fulsome goodness of beechmast and hazelnuts.

All good things, however, must come to an end and, as the last leaves drop from the mighty oak, wildlife has to take on the serious business of finding an ever-diminishing source of food.

The onset of winter, therefore, offers the wildlife gardener the perfect opportunity of launching a rescue mission by honing up on all those hospitality skills, particularly so where wild birds are concerned.

While most bird-friendly gardens have welcomed the summertime visits of a host of familiar species, nothing quite compares with the vibrancy of activity around the feeding station during the lean months of winter.

Indeed, the supplementary food-fest provided by bird-lovers is by far and away the best thing that’s happened to birds since, well, since sliced scrap bread!

As the days grow ever shorter, birds will depend even more on our generosity of avian spirit which, in turn, then gives us the opportunity of offering them the most nutritious of edible goodness.

With such a vast variety of seed mixes, fat balls, peanuts and even dried mealworms at our disposal, even the smallest of gardens can quickly evolve into a mini nature reserve.

This wide selection of bird food, of course, is likely to prove an absolute win-win situation for both birds and their human watchers.

Do remember that different birds have different tastes and, just like us, what’s tasty for one might seem unpalatable to another.

By experimenting with various permutations of seed mixes etc: the wider variety of bird species the garden is likely to attract – excellent for the birds and highly fascinating for us wouldn’t you say?


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