1. Blog
  2. Inviting birds into your garden in Winter

Inviting birds into your garden in Winter


As the nights draw in and the frost begins to bite, our feathered friends will be extremely grateful for some extra attention from you as they boost their reserves for Winter.

If you can provide at least one of the following, then this can make a huge difference to the bird’s comfort during the Winter weather ahead.


Birds require high energy foods during the Winter to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights. It’s important to use good quality food and scraps.

  • Suitable seeds and grains – Nyjer, millet, oats and sunflower seeds, preferably black sunflower seeds due to their higher oil content.
  • Peanuts – only in good quality mesh feeders and if they’re unsalted, fresh and sold for human consumption.
  • Net-free fat or suet balls – these will attract a wide range of species and are great for providing birds with protein and carbohydrates.
  • Over-ripe apples and raisins to be enjoyed by robins, blackbirds, thrushes, and waxwings.
  • Finely chopped bacon rind and grated cheese for smaller birds.

You can place food inside hanging feeders (wire cages rather than plastic nets to avoid birds getting their tongues caught), upon feeding tables, or scattered at ground level.


Providing fresh water regularly for birds to drink and bathe in is particularly important during the Winter when natural supplies may be frozen. It can be difficult to stop water from freezing over, but these simple tricks will help:

  • Place a light ball in water, it will be moved by even a gentle breeze and will keep a small amount of water ice free.
  • Create a hole in any iced-over ponds by placing a pan with hot water on the surface until it melts. Never tip the boiling water onto the ice as this can send harmful shockwaves through the water.


Providing effective shelters in your garden can help birds survive even the coldest of nights.

  • Dense hedges such as privet or hawthorn, or allowing ivy or holly to grow make great cover for birds to roost in.
  • Nest boxes are good roosting sites. They provide a secure and comfortable shelter for smaller birds. This is because they hold heat more efficiently and can home numerous birds at once.
  • Building a brush pile in a sheltered location is a fast and effective way to provide Winter shelter for a variety of birds. You should use various sized branches to form the bulk of the pile, leaving plenty of spaces for roosting, then cover with evergreens for extra shelter and protection.

Even if you can only provide one of the above, it will still contribute significantly to a more comfortable Winter for our feathered friends.


Share this post