Winter Delights: Feeding the BIrds

in nature •  8 months ago

I was taking some pictures of the birds around my garden for @papa-pepper's combination photography contest (https://steemit.com/contest/@papa-pepper/papa-pepper-s-combination-photography-contest-week-23) and it reminded me that I've been meaning to do a winter post on feeding the birds!

As you may know we've had some unusually cold and snowy weather here in the UK making it hard for our feathered friends to find food. Before we went out to play in the snow (post with very cool snow drift pics to follow!) we made sure that we had put out some food on our bird table. Along with the usual nutritious seed we chose apple (sugar) and cheese (fat). Here's one of our resident dunnocks (hedge sparrow) come to enjoy the feast.

dunnock on feeder.jpg

The house sparrows feed messily at the feeders, but that's great as it knocks bits of seed onto the ground for birds like robins and blackbirds that prefer to feed on the ground. It's a delight to watch all the interactions between the different individuals and species - bickering blackbirds, bullying robins, quick as a flash blue tits.

sparrows on feeders.jpg

As well as the food we put out for the birds we leave a lot of wild bits and weeds in our garden for them too. The blue tits are always hopping around every twig and branch looking for any insects surviving the cold.
blue tit in snow.jpg

....and is there anything more delightful than a charm of goldfinches feeding on the seed-heads of that evening primrose that I really should have weeded out of my patio?! Their bold colours and golden bubbling calls make up for the weeds!
goldfinches on evening primrose.jpg

So please do feed the birds folks! There is generally less food available in the countryside these days with habitat steadily being lost, so let's make our gardens refuges for these delightful and engaging creatures. Finally in freezing weather water is really really important. This was a prototype - I realised later that a big stone in the middle to perch on worked much better!

water.jpg

Thanks for reading! All photos were taken my me with either my Panasonic FZ45 or a Canon EOS45D recently gifted by a friend. They were all taken out of the window so not the most wonderful shots but I hope they inspire you to some bird friendly garden manoeuvres!

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Great pictures! Yes, we are feeding birds here too - we have a large family of pheasants hanging about, plus seagulls and a variety of smaller ones too. I will get some shots of them onto steemit, but they are super edgy and timid due to all the shooters in the area!

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Will look forward to seeing them. I fully intended to take more bird pics during the winter but it's so hard to get close enough. Especially with a labrador running around :)

Love this picture, great shot and well timed!

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Thank you! Timing is tricky - I must admit that I'd never noticed before just how much birds MOVE!

aww they're so cute! great shot x

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Thank you!

Cool! I follow you.