As leaves fall from the trees and hedgerows become sparse, many UK bird species struggle to survive the winter. With natural nesting sites disappearing and food supplies dwindling, now’s the time to think about how best to lend a helping hand to your feathered friends. From high-calorie food to cosy nest boxes, there are many ways to help them this winter and to encourage more birds to breed in your garden.
Nest boxes are a great way to help birds thrive during the colder months by providing shelter from the harsh elements, and protection from predators. With winter just around the corner, expert wildlife brand CJ Wildlife suggests that now is the best time to hang a bird box in the garden. While it is typical for nest boxes to be installed around springtime, the usual nesting season, CJ Wildlife recommends an autumn installation, as this allows birds to get accustomed to their new box while providing shelter throughout the colder months, which can lead to a more successful breeding season come spring.
Choosing the right nest box ensures the best possible support. Take the time to observe which species of birds frequently visit your garden, so you can pick out the right design. CJ Wildlife has a wide range of nest boxes, each expertly crafted for the different needs of specific species.
If you notice Great Tits, Pied Flycatchers, Tree Sparrows, or House Sparrows, the 32mm Woodstone® Seville Nest Box will offer a cosy home for them in your garden. Made with a mixture of concrete and wood fibres in the optimum dimensions for these species, this nest box will offer a safe sanctuary from predators such as woodpeckers, cats, and squirrels. The unique Woodstone® design insulates the nest, creating a consistent internal temperature, which helps younger birds have a great chance of survival. This nest box will stand the test of time by not rotting away or deteriorating and has a 10-year guarantee.
Woodpeckers enjoy creating their own entrances to nest boxes, and the Malmo Woodpecker Nest Box cleverly incorporates this into the design. The box has a small, drilled hole which encourages woodpeckers to expand the hole to their desired size and create their nest inside, just as they would in the wild. CJ Wildlife recommends lining the box with a layer of forest soil to welcome woodpeckers to their new home.
Replicating natural nesting sites is a great way to encourage birds to breed near your home. While swallows avoid the cold British winter by heading to warmer climates, they will be sure to appreciate a nest box when they return in April. Swallows prefer nesting in indoor spaces, such as garages, outbuildings, or farm sheds, however many established nests are being removed as older buildings are converted or cleared. Replacing these nests with a Swallow Nest Box helps to maintain swallow populations in the UK. It’s best to place in a porch or outbuilding, with easy access to a window or door for the swallows to travel as they please.
As we head into the colder months, birds need more calories to help stay warm. High-fat bird food offers the essential calories and nutrients to help fuel birds through the winter. CJ Wildlife’s Peanut Cake Tubes are packed with animal and vegetable fats and are bound with tasty peanut flour. Providing a great source of calories, these cake tubes are irresistible to a variety of species. Hang from a tree, pop them in a Cake Tube Feeder, or chop them up into smaller 1cm cubes for the more timid birds to enjoy.
Whether it’s hanging a cake tube or installing a new nest box, these small changes will be greatly appreciated by the birds this winter. Come spring, you’ll be rewarded with a garden filled with wildlife. Learn more about how to help the birds in your garden, and browse the full CJ Wildlife range, at https://www.birdfood.co.uk/
CJ Wildlife’s 32mm Woodstone® Seville Nest Box – RRP £23.99
CJ Wildlife’s Malmo Woodpecker Nest Box – RRP £34.99
CJ Wildlife’s Swallow Nest Box – RRP £13.99
CJ Wildlife’s Peanut Cake Tube – RRP £2.99
CJ Wildlife’s Cake Tube Feeder – RRP £14.49