Across the UK, Christmas preparations are in full swing. No doubt you're busy gift shopping and making plans to see family and friends during the festive season.
As the big day draws closer, why not extend the season of goodwill to your local birds? While Christmas is a time of indulgence and eating a little more than we probably should for us humans, it is actually a period of hardship for birds, with the onset of winter making it difficult to find food. Treat your birds this Christmas and you could actually make a significant contribution to their winter survival chances.
So, what makes a good present for a bird? How about a cake? A popular option at this time of year is bird cake mix. Combining a wide variety of nutritious foods, this product allows you to create a cake that will appeal to a wide variety of different species, providing them with some of the much-needed sustenance to make it through the winter. Take a look at our recipes page for guidance on how to serve up the perfect bird cake.
The chances are you'll be tucking into some fatty treats this Christmas, so why not give your local birds the chance to do the same? Far from being unhealthy, fat balls and suet are actually an ideal food to put out for birds in the winter, as the high fat content is ideal for building up the energy reserves needed to make it through to spring. You can get in the festive spirit by treating your birds to some Christmas-shaped suet treats.
Food is not the only gift you can give to birds during the festive season. Why not treat them to a new place from which to eat by investing in a new feeder or table? Alternatively, you could provide them with a place to shelter, and then raise their young in spring, by installing a nest box.
Of course, the birds won't be able to reciprocate by giving you a gift of their own, but being able to enjoy their antics in your garden will be reward enough!
Got a birder in the family? There are plenty of gift ideas for them too. A nice new pair of binoculars could be perfect for bird-watching in 2016, or, if you want to go a little more hi-tech, you could surprise them with a nest-cam or wildlife camera.
(Images from iStock)