After a successful summer season and a wet and windy autumn, we get a very different community of birds in our gardens during the winter. Plenty of birds naturally migrate when the weather starts to change for the worst, and the days get darker much faster. However, some birds stand their ground and staying in the country, or even migrate to the UK for winter from countries like Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Russia.
What would winter be with the nations favorite bird, the robin? The traditional symbol of Christmas and the epitome of a merry winter. Robins are known to be a very cute, but territorial bird that refuses to move more than a few miles away from their home no matter the season. They sing all year round and have even been known to sing at nighttime next to streetlights.
With only a tiny population in the UK, Redwings are a wonderful and very lucky sight to behold. Most redwings migrate from Iceland and Scandinavia to the UK. With a tiny population of less than 20 breeding pairs (in the UK), this beautiful species is on the red-list (endangered). They can be seeing roaming across the countryside and often taking residents in feeding fields, and hedges. These birds will hardly ever visit your garden and will only make exceptions when the coldest and harshest winter snows cover the fields.
These birds’ nest in Iceland and spend their winters in the UK. These birds are found on the coast and visit wetland areas inland. Classified as a red-list species, this bird has an average lifespan of 18 years, and pair up for life. If you’re at the coast in winter and spot one, you can consider yourself lucky.
These moorlands birds live in the Highlands of Scotland’s, during the summer where they enjoy the cool, windy climate of the moors, before moving south to the lowland fields or sheltered coasts in the winter.
A beautiful species that travels north to spend the winter in Britain. They spend the summer in mountain areas of Europe and Asia before migrating in the autumn to southern England and East Anglia.
Here are a few birds that didn’t quite make our top 5, however they still deserve to be mentioned.
This amazing stealth hunter is one of the fiercest of its kind and a small bird of prey. They are perfectly adapted to hunt in confined spaces, making both gardens and woodland the perfect hunting ground.
That’s right a Chiffchaff, this little bird is increasingly wintering in Britain instead of migrating. This species tends to migrate south into England from Scotland during the winter.
Not all birds will come into your garden, sometimes its flock mentality, sometimes it’s just simply down to location. However, we can tempt them in with some delicious fat building bird feed. Depending on what kind of feeders you have, or if you are just using household food that’s about to reach its best before date.
Packed full of energy and loved by many small birds, these nuts contain an excellent balance of protein and oil. Peanuts are loved so much that other wildlife such a squirrels and mice will also eat them, so ensure you place them well. Just make sure they are unsweetened and unsalted.
The perfect source of protein for birds on the go. These treats can be home-made using melted lard or suet with a combination of seed, fruit, insects, oats, and nuts, or bought from a store. They are long lasting, and perfect for the winter.
A favourite of both garden and wild birds, they are high in protein, fat and highly nutritious, to give all breeds a complete meal, all year around. They make great bird food and are the perfect versatile mixer to add into suet or seeds.
The more winter goodies available from your garden, the more of a chance wild birds will visit. If you give them the opportunity, they will come swooping in.
What are your favorite winter birds? Think we have missed an important species of our list? Let us know us know in the comments below.