We’re nearly in November with the cold weather of Winter fast approaching and soon the currently plentiful feast of berries and fallen fruit in gardens and the countryside will be over for the birds. That will be the time when they start to depend on us humans to help get them through the Winter.
Think about buying bird feeders for your garden or, if you already have them, this is the time to clean and sterilize them before refilling.
If you have any nestboxes up then October/November is also a good time to take those down, empty out any old nesting material from the previous breeding season and sterilize the inside of the box to deal with any possible remaining parasites. You can use plain boiling water to do this. When dry you can re-hang them as even though it is no longer breeding season some varieties of small bird such as wrens will make use of them for roosting in very cold weather, sometimes in groups!
If you’ve been growing sunflowers this year then leave them standing with their spent heads on. They are full of energy-giving oil-rich seeds for birds to feed on. Otherwise, buy those and other seeds to fill your feeders. Suet pellets are also very popular with birds of all sizes.
Don’t forget too that birds need to bathe to keep their feathers in good condition so keep an eye on bird baths to keep them topped up if there is little rainfall.
You will be rewarded by the sight of many different birds visiting your garden over the Winter and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping their survival.