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How to feed garden birds in winter - tips from the RSPB

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The RSPB is urging us all to think of our feathered friends across Kent this winter.

Taking the time to watch the birds in your garden or outside space can help reduce stress and restore calm. Not only does it benefit humans, but with more than 60% of the UK population regularly feeding their garden birds, research suggests that this helps around 196 million birds a year.

A Robin in winter Picture: RSPB Images
A Robin in winter Picture: RSPB Images

The charity says keeping feeders and water trays topped up is important at this time of year to help your garden birds survive through the winter as natural food sources run low.

And providing high-energy food if you can will help your local birds build up the fat reserves they need to keep warm.

Your cupboards can hold the answer to attracting birds into your garden. According to the RSPB, fruits like apples and pears, even when they’re past their best, can be snapped up by blackbirds and thrushes, while grated mild cheese can be a fantastic source of energy and protein for a range of birds.

Cooked pastry, defrosted peas or unsalted bacon leftovers are also great options, as well as cooked rice, pasta and the inside of potatoes providing a great energy source.

If possible, you should also ensure fresh water is available as winter brings the toughest and coldest months for birds.

Topping up bird feeders can help at this time of year Picture: RSPB Images
Topping up bird feeders can help at this time of year Picture: RSPB Images

For those without a garden, window feeders can prove just as popular - you can find a guide to making a recycled window feeder from objects found around your home by clicking here.

Many of us have taken an extra interest in nature while spending more time at home over the past 18 months. The number of people using the RSPB’s online bird identification tool shot up by 95% in 2020.

A Blackbird looks for food Picture: RSPB Images
A Blackbird looks for food Picture: RSPB Images

The charity is also running special robin-themed trails and events following the release of Aardman’s Robin Robin film on Netflix. Find out more here.

It will also be running its popular Big Garden Birdwatch survey in January. Click here to see how last year's record breaking survey went in Kent.

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