Warren’s World of Wildlife – Feeding the birds and Hedgehogs

Confessions of a Pest Controller – Warren’s World of Wildlife Feeding the Birds and Hedgehogs

Due to the popularity of Warren’s article in the last issue, we will be doing a few more seasonal articles with him, principally focussing on local wildlife. As we enter November, the weather really does change and winter starts to find its cold feet and the visitors to our gardens are looking for a source of food to help them through winter.

warren-goldfinch“Birds need to eat during the day and they store the energy to get them through the night, so we need to leave high protein food such as peanuts and fat balls at this time of year. Nyger seed is also very good for any bird but it’s great for attracting finches, which are a beautiful addition to any garden. You will need to put out a different diet as the seasons change but it’s also nice to put fresh water out, especially when it’s freezing – not only do the birds drink it but it’s nice for them to bathe in as well.”

We’ve all seen Red Kite’s in the skies above us and as winter comes and their food sources are less readily available, the chances are we’ll see their soaring presence a little more.

“They might be a big, majestic bird but they still could do with a helping hand this time of year. If you have a long garden with a flat roof garage, that’s perfect for Kites as they like to swoop, it’s not often you will see one stood still on the ground. The best food for them is meat, so a few left overs from the Sunday joint would be quiet welcome for them but remember you could also attract crows and magpies which have similar habits.”

There’s also the problem leaving food out for the birds could also attract unwanted visitors and nobody wants their bird table turning into a rat table.

“All I can say is put out little and often and also put your feeder on a hard surface and sweep up every evening. Talking of tables and feeders; keep them away from bushes where predators can hide and also don’t put salty food out and some dried foods and moisten bread a little. Don’t put mouldy food out either, birds get food poisoning too y’know.”

Lastly, spare a thought for the humble hedgehog. It needs to accumulate enough fat reserves to get it through its winter hibernation.

“Non fish based dog food and cat food is best for them. Don’t put it down at the hedge at the end of the garden if you do that there’s as much chance of attracting rats, instead, try placing it on the patio, hedgehogs are reasonably friendly and it’s nice to see them feed. Leave water in a shallow bowl but never milk as it doesn’t agree with them. When they come out of hibernation, you don’t need to feed them too much as you want them hungry to eat all the slugs!”


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