Our natural landscapes are continuously changing, and as we constantly endure the loss of more and more natural spaces to urbanisation. The difference you can make to local bird populations, simply by creating a bird-friendly garden, is huge. It’s not only beneficial to the birds – the enjoyment you will get from identifying the various new species that begin to visit your garden, is a reward in itself.
The number and variety of birds you see is likely to be driven by the weather. The frosty airs see much excitement as greater numbers and variety of species go in search of food and water around your gardens…
1. Long-tailed tit
Long-tailed tits are restlessly active, constantly communicative and as cute as a button. Formerly a bird of woodlands and hedges and a shy and irregular garden visitor, long-tailed tits have become garden favourites as they have increased in numbers and become bolder.
Goldfinches are a modern success story with a huge increase since the mid-1980s, thought to be due in part to feeding in gardens. With ruby coloured faces, bright yellow flashes on the wings and musical twittering it’s easy to see why flocks are known as ‘charms’.
3. House Sparrow
One of our most familiar garden birds. But one that has declined by over 65 per cent in the last 25 years. The sound of a flock chattering away in tuneless chirps is one of the most evocative natural sounds. Garden hedges and allotments could be key to its persistence in cities.
4. Blue tit
Acrobatic and colourful, blue tits are one of the most popular garden visitors. Their population has seen an upward trend since the 1970s.
Another garden regular that has undergone an even steeper decline than the house sparrow. In winter the starling’s glossy, petrol-stain plumage is covered with a constellation of straw-coloured tips. In winter many of our starlings have travelled from the Baltic States and even Russia.
6. Wood pigeon
Another recent winner among garden bird, woodpigeons have white patches on their neck and wings. This, and their large size, separates them from other pigeons. Woodpigeons are cumbersome clumsy birds and will often hog the bird table hoovering up seed.
Taken from nationaltrust.org.uk
Don’t forget to…
Keep plenty of food and water in the garden – birds and other wildlife need these extra supplies more than ever in the winter months.
Check your bird baths and ponds haven’t frozen over. To prevent these freezing over place a ball in the centre of the bird bath to keep the water flowing.
Avoid pruning and raking the fallen leaves – the winter berries are a perfect food supply and the fallen leaves keep hibernating wildlife warm and sheltered.
Feeding garden birds in winter is one of the easiest ways to get close to wildlife and the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is a great way to contribute to citizen science from the comfort of your home.