Wednesday 28th of October 2020


Like clockwork during the winter month’s nature slowly enters a state dormancy. The broadleaf trees shed their leaves, small animals start their winter slumber and insects hide away until temperatures improve in the spring. A large portion of our birds fly south to warmer climates, but not all. Many of our native species stay put and try to survive in what ever way they can, they eat berries and seed and dig for what ever worms and surface insect that they can find. Its not easy and many never live to see the spring.

This is where we can help by giving a little back to nature. It doesn’t happen often, but this is one of those rare occasions when human interference can be mutually beneficial to both wildlife and mankind. As such it has become very popular in recent years to feed birds through the winter; various food types can be purchased and are inexpensive relative to the benefit to wildlife and joy that the feeding brings. People who feed birds are always amazed with the results of their efforts. Birds have a wonderful instinct in finding food and will flock en masse to easily accessible sustenance. Watching the various species of birds taking there turns on a feeding table is a wonderful and uplifting sight to behold

Bird nuts and mixed seed are the most popular for gardens with Robins, Bramblings and House sparrows. Sunflower and Nyjer seed are preferable for Finches and the various species of tits, they have a high nutritional value and increase energy levels.

A simple apple or pear cut in half and left somewhere birds can eat it in safety, makes a great meal for Thrushes and Blackbirds. Shop bought Fat balls or home-made mixed berries and suet helps birds keep insulated through the cold winter.

If using Bird feeders, make sure to purchase the correct type for the feed you are using. Peanuts, bread and fruit should be placed in a mesh or wire feeder; while the various types of seed and grain should be put in clear plastic versions. Keep them out of reach of domestic animals. It is also beneficial to leave out a dish of water for birds to drink and bath in.

Paul Davey 

Milltown Garden Centre, Shinrone