Experts urge gardeners to do this one thing to help birds survive the winter

It's important to be consistent if you're leaving out food for birds this season

robin in the snow
(Image credit: Getty)

The winter is a particularly unforgiving time for local wildlife, and the Royal Horticultural Society has highlighted the plight of birds this time of year. 

With the temperatures starting to fall, feeding birds in winter makes a huge difference to the health of the wild birds that visit your plot. Encouraging people to give birds high-fat food, the charity says it's crucial to be consistent.

blue tits eating at a bird feeder in a wintry garden

(Image credit: Getty)

Winter bird care warning

In a recent Instagram post, the RHS urged gardeners to give birds food with a high-fat content now that winter has arrived. 'Gardeners can make a fantastic contribution to their local wildlife populations by putting out a little food during the colder months,' the RHS writes (opens in new tab).

'Garden birds, in particular, benefit from feeding year-round and winter is a time to provide foodstuffs with a high-fat content to help keep them warm,' the RHS says. The key thing to note is that you'll need to put feed out regularly. 

Otherwise, birds might 'waste vital energy' coming to your garden to find that there's no food. 

bird feeder in copper material filled with fat balls

(Image credit: Boxwild)

The UK's leading gardening charity says that not only does feeding birds give them a helping hand, but it's also a great way for us to see nature up close. Even if you have a tiny balcony, patio, or green area.

Those living in urban areas with no outdoor space at all can observe wild birds with window bird feeders, available at Amazon (opens in new tab). These stick onto the exterior of your window and are brilliant for helping young children to learn about the different types of wild birds.

If you're wondering what kind of high-fat bird feed you should buy, suet balls, available at Amazon (opens in new tab) are a great option. Wild birds will also eat lard balls, also high in saturated fat, to give them lots of fuel.

bird box in the shape of a house with a sparrow

(Image credit: The Design Gift Shop)

It's worth noting that birds can take several weeks to come to your bird feeder if it's the first time you've put one out in your garden. Why not learn how to make bird feeders this winter? Pine cones, lard and bird seeds are some of the key ingredients you'll need.

The best bird feeders are a great way to welcome birds to your garden and to do your bit for wildlife as we move into the coldest season. Just remember to keep them topped up with high-energy snacks.

Millie Hurst
News Writer

Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.