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Talkback: Help wildlife survive winter



  • Opps - wrong advice re weight of hedgehogs as they NEED TO BE 650gms in order to survive winter.

    Also do not give fishy flavour cat food and NOT milk either. Best thing to do is get advice from a Rescue Center (or vet) on the day you find it.
  • sadly round here for the last 5years I have not so much  as seen  a squashed Hedgehog let alone a live one. The birds seem to like fat balls and now seem to have gone off the nuts and seeds.

  • I have just put up some bird boxes around the house and garden and hung some seed feeders nearby but the birds don't seem interested. What can I do to encourage them to nest?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 36,113

    Patience Barry image 

    Most birds have already got their nest sites organised so just keep an eye out for them taking a look at potential new homes, but it might be next year so don't be disheartened. There's lots of food around for birds at this time of year so they may not be interested in feeders just now, but once it gets to autumn you'll find they start coming in. It also depends what birds are in your area so do a little research and take a look at what visits so that you can tailor the type of feed you use. It can take a while for birds to find your hospitality as they may have regular sites elsewhere which they go to first. I've been in this house just over a year and they're getting to know the garden better now -  it just takes a little time image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • The hedgehog communities near me have greatly diminished and now my garden is losing the growth and lively spirit that the blooms have had for many centuries.
  • It sounds idyllic living in the countryside surrounded by fields, the long light nights during the summer,pottering about in the garden and making sure that all the feeding stations are full and then watching the birds come to feast. However Winter is just around the corner,the days are getting shorter and the nights are longer and suffering from ill health I was starting to feel a bit depressed until a little creature decided to start visiting my garden.I call him /her squeaky very original ha,ha.A cute little mouse.Squeaky comes for breakfast,sometimes lunch and then finally evening meal.My hubby says its like a 5 star hotel at the feeding stations. Has anyone ever tried banana? It goes like hot cakes.
  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 6,279

    I feed fat ball, seed, nuts, mealworms and any fruit I have that is passed its best.  I dont ground feed but the other birds seem to drop enough to keep the larger birds happy.  I have consciously planted shrubs and perenials that attract wildlife.  I do tidy the garden for the winter but I do have a log pile and have created wildlife 'homes' with housebricks behind some of the shrubs.  I have a birdbath and a half barrel and also try and leave some water in a shallow dish on the floor.  The birds line up to feed and we get lots of insects, frogs and toads, I havent seen any hedgehogs.   We do get the odd cats visiting the garden and I have to say that occasionally I see evidence of a bird kill, although that could be the sparrow hawks that drop in occasionally. 

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • I bought some bird boxes about 5/6 years ago. I see blue tits look in then fly off never to return. There have been other birds like wrens look at them but none ever nest in them. I have placed some on the left and the right side of the garden Some at the bottom that attached to a tree trunk but nothing. What am I doing wrong? I notice a blue tit pecking at the hole at the front entrance Is it the hole not big enough for it but it can go in and out so I don't know. Can anybody help please.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    They always peck at the holes, it's a habit they have but not sure of the reason. They will eventually enlarge the hole, but oddly that means larger birds can get in, which makes the box unsuitable! (some things about nature are not easy to work out!). It doesn't mean the holes are not the correct size to start with though.

    One can only guess your boxes are not quite right for them for some other reason. I face the hole to the north and put them on fairly long sticks well away from cats in trees or bushes. Avoid busy areas such as those used by lots of birds to get to feeders, they won't choose a box where they have to compete all the time with other birds It's often wise to make your own from the dimensions given out by wildlife trusts etc, they usually work as they have been tried and tested many times. The plans for the ones I've done are here:

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 69,055
    Mike Allen wrote (see)
    Mike hasn'tread all the replies. However to answer the original question. Add some glycerine to the water. It perfectly safe.

    Please don't add glycerine to birdbaths - it is a low level toxin and because it is sweet if the birds drink the water it will raise their blood sugar level and this could kill them.  It could also damage the water-proofing and insulation properties of the bird's feathers which could also kill them. 

    Only clean pure water in birdbaths please. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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