Looking after the birds this New Year


I always try to leave a few seeds and berries on the plants in my garden, to help the birds find food in the colder months of the year. The really cold snap we had in November and the fact that I was off work rather poorly gave me a lot of very enjoyable opportunities to watch them feeding when the snow was all around. I still feed them a bit, but even though I put out bird feeders I never seem to attract too many.

I am not surprised really as I have two cats who are pretty active hunters, two dogs out in the garden lots and of course two kids. I think the birds know better than to hang around too long on my feeders.

However, my neighbour has no cats and lots of feeders and she seems to have a great and regular team of ornithological visitors all the time.  They were away over Christmas and I noticed one day, on the way back from work, that the usual gang seemed to be absent.  I went round to check if the food had run out and all that was left were whole peanuts, that the little birds couldn’t seem to get out of the feeders.

Round I went, armed with some of my Richard Jackson’s premium bird food and topped up the feeders.  Well the speed with which the birds returned was quite astonishing!  I only had to wait for about five minutes and whoosh. In came the blue tits and robins and I could see a whole gang of other birds, who were perhaps a little wary of me watching with a camera, keeping further back. But, you know, I shouldn’t have been surprised. I know what good stuff is in RJ’s great bird feed.

He takes great care to select the finest ingredients and this is the best formulation he has managed to develop. He has included all the favourites like sunflower seeds, linseeds, niger seeds and millet (to name but a few) plus it has the suet pellets that the birds love, together with a few meal worms which they go crazy for.

My wife has a health food shop and the list of ingredients in RJ’s bird food is a bit like walking down one of the aisles in her shop and seeing bags of what we buy for our bread and cereals.

If you don’t have any bird feeders you can pick them up anywhere but we have a few at QVC that are very nice: this kit is a nesting box that can be used to feed the birds and then moved away from the feeding area in nesting season, so the birds have a readymade home. This lovely item is rather decorative as it has a little solar light too.

Don’t forget to give the birds water, especially when it’s freezing outside. We have some lovely bird baths/drinking stations for them: a ceramic option and this one from Bernini. Just remember that when it’s cold you may have to break the ice or put some hot water in from time to time.

Little birds, especially, are very prone to suffering in the cold weather. Their diminutive size means they can’t store much heat and so need to feed regularly. They can survive without a drink for a short while but food is the key to their survival, so help them out this year as much as you can and enjoy the spectacle of watching them frolic and squabble over the feeders.

Richard Jackson’s premium bird feed is on a special offer this Saturday, 6th of January, as a Today’s Special Value and I’ll be looking forward to joining the team first thing in the morning, I hope you might be able to catch up with us then.

All the best and have a very Happy New Year!

Simon X



  1. Janet January 2, 2018 at 8:44 pm -  Reply

    Hope you are feeling much better Simon. We feed our garden birds too, it’s lovely to see them tucking in! We see the usual visitors but also nuthatches, jays and occasional woodpecker. Feels good to give them a helping hand especially in the colder winter months. Wishing you a very happy new year x

  2. Josephine Jennings January 3, 2018 at 7:19 pm -  Reply

    Happy New Year Simon. Good to hear your on the mend . We also feed the garden birds, mainly sparrows , blue tits, couple of robins. Our Christmas present is a new bird table.

  3. Simon January 6, 2018 at 7:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Janet
    Yes, thank you, feeling much better now. All I have to contend with is a stinking cold! ( same as everyone else).
    Hope 2018 is a good one for you and yours.
    Simon x

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