In winter there are fewer flowers, berries and insects for native birds to eat. You can help supplement their food supply by setting up a bird table in your garden where they can feed.
Attach a piece of board in a position well out of reach of cats – for example you could nail it to a tree branch. A metal sheath around the trunk below will prevent cats climbing up.
Hammer some nails into the board sticking up a few centimetres to use to secure bits of food to the table. Places pieces of bread and old fruit (apples, grapefruit cut in half, etc) on the nails for the birds to eat. Some birds also like to eat fat - dripping works well.
Sit a 1L plastic milk container in a shallow dish or saucer. Make 2-3 very small holes ½ a centimetre from the bottom of the bottle – this will allow sugar solution to come out of the bottle up to the height of the holes.
To make sugar solution, dissolve ½ a cup of sugar in 1L of warm water. Fill the bottle of your automatic feeder and screw the lid back on tightly. Place the feeder on your bird table.
The birds in your garden will love this tasty snack.
1-2 cups of fat
Stale bread or biscuits or bird seed
1. Place the fat, honey and bacon scraps in a bowl.
2. Stand the bowl in hot water.
3. When the fat begins to melt add the bread, biscuits or bird seed.
4. Stir the mixture and form into a ball.
5. Press into a small container and leave to cool and set.
6. Tip out into a net bag (the sort you buy mandarins or onions in is good)
7. Hang the bird pudding near your bird table for birds to eat.
Be patient – it can take a while for birds to get used to feeding at the table. Keep the food and sugar water topped up regularly in winter and early spring – birds will probably have enough to eat during other times of the year, but may appreciate a source of drinking water in a safe place.