In autumn, migratory birds leave us. Arrived, made nests, fed the chicks, cleared the forests and gardens of pests – and again on a long and difficult road. It is always sad to part with migratory birds, and I always want to tell them from the bottom of my heart: “Good luck …” Bullfinches, waxwings, tap-eye flies come to our forests, fields, gardens and parks to fly away. These winter guests will fly north in the spring.
The so-called city and street birds stay with us for the winter: tits, sparrows, jackdaws, crows, pigeons. In winter, birds need to be fed. For this we need feeders. The feeders are used in a wide variety of ways, from a primitive simple tray with sides to the aft tables with a canopy over them in the form of a roof that will protect the food from rain and snow.
Not all foods can be eaten by birds, some of them can even be harmful. Young naturalists will find it interesting and useful to find out what can and cannot feed birds in winter.
When to feed the birds?
Time: from early November to mid-April
Feeding birds can begin even before the snow falls, approximately in the first days of November, and end in the second half of April. At first the birds do not visit the feeders very much, since they are not used to them yet and you can still get food in nature. But deep snow falls, and the birds begin to visit them willingly. When going around feeders, it is always advisable to have a shovel and a broom with you to clear the approach to them.
Menu for birds
Particular attention should be paid to feeding various species of tits and nuthatch, which are the most valuable of our helpers in the fight against harmful insects.
For them, you can pre-harvest the seeds of watermelon, pumpkin, melon and sunflower, which are pre-crushed with a bottle or some other hard object, so that it is easier for birds to get edible flesh with their thin beaks. In severe frosts, it is good for them to give finely chopped meat and lard, which the tits very readily eat.
On the table of the feeder daily pour various seeds of weeds, cones of conifers, crumbs of white bread, pieces of meat, dried berries and seeds of cultivated plants: wheat, millet, oats, flaxseed and hemp seeds,
In winter, sparrows and titmouse can also be fed with oatmeal, round-grain rice, unsalted and unroasted seeds, nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts), pumpkin seeds, and peanuts.
Seeds of grass and weeds, cones of conifers need to be prepared in advance.
Such foods can also be included in the diet: fruit slices, dry or fresh berries, medium-fat cottage cheese mixed with white breadcrumbs, a grated egg, hard-boiled, flour worms.
Not recommended: all fried and salted (seeds, lard), spoiled and moldy, rancid grain, millet, brown bread