do birds eat apples in winter

A guide to feeding our feathered friends during winter

It can be difficult for birds to survive at any time of year, but especially in the chilly winter months. Due to their relatively small volume and large surface area, small birds particularly struggle. Because of this, they lose heat to their surroundings quickly and need to consume a lot of food to make up for the energy they lose. It doesn’t have to be the case that many of us want to assist them but are unsure of what to feed birds in the winter.

In the winter, the ground is too hard for birds to dig for worms, and grubs, beetles, caterpillars, and aphids stay well-hidden in the dense vegetation. Birds become extremely vulnerable during the winter months due to these factors as well as the limited number of hours of light during which they can actively search for food.

But a lot more birds can withstand the cold if we lend a helping hand. The following are some of the greatest foods to provide for our feathered friends; they can be scattered at ground level, put on feeding tables, or placed inside hanging feeders. Continue reading to learn about the various foods we can give to birds during the winter.

These are rich in necessary protein and unsaturated fats. Because black sunflower seeds have a higher oil content than striped sunflower seeds, they are better to use. Since the birds don’t have to expend energy peeling the husks, sunflower hearts and crushed seeds are ideal for winter, and they also leave less of a mess behind. Both tits and greenfinches are known to favour these seeds. These are great because they are simple to grow at home and make excellent stock.

These are tiny black seeds that are high in oil and fat. Because of their size, they should be combined with other seeds in a plastic feeder because they will probably fall through a regular feeder straight. An alternative is to purchase a specialized Nyjer feeder or set the seeds on a tray that is elevated off the ground. These seeds are a favourite of goldfinches and siskins.

It is not advisable to use salted or dry-roasted peanuts as they could injure birds. Use only fresh, human-grade peanuts from a reliable feed store; some varieties may contain high concentrations of a naturally occurring toxin that is fatal to birds. Rich in protein and fat, peanuts are favored by siskins, tits, greenfinches, house sparrows, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. They will also draw robins, dunnocks, and occasionally wrens when crushed or grated. You can grow these at home as well, but you’ll need to provide a nice, warm environment in the summer.

Fruits high in water content and high in simple sugars, like apples, pears, and plums, are excellent sources of energy for birds. These will be enjoyed by robins, blackbirds, thrushes, and waxwings. Cut them in half and place them on the ground or on the bird table.

Fat-based foods, which can be in the form of balls, bars, or cakes, are ideal for giving birds protein and carbohydrates during the winter. Make sure the nylon mesh casing is taken off if you’re purchasing from a store because it can trap and hurt birds. For a basic DIY version, combine a mixture of seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, and cheese with melted suet or lard. The ratio of ingredients to fat in the mixture should be two thirds to one third. After giving them a good stir, transfer the mixture into a container and let it settle. The solid mixture can be spread out onto a bird table or the selected container can be used as a feeder. This will give many different species a significant increase in calories.

Any bird will appreciate leftovers in the winter, so spread some bread crumbs and grated cheese to provide the birds with extra protein. When the weather gets harsher, many birds will happily accept cooked rice, whether it’s brown or white, and it can be quite helpful to them. Uncooked rice may be eaten by pigeons, doves and pheasants. Oats for porridge can be used, but they should never be cooked because the mixture could solidify around the beak of a bird. Any kind of cereal will work, but it’s best to use small amounts and have access to drinking water nearby.

For drinking and washing purposes, birds must have access to a clean, fresh supply of water. A birdbath or even a shallow dish elevated off the ground and filled with water can be used to create this. If you place a small plastic ball on the surface of the water in the winter, the movement caused by the wind will keep it from freezing.

Each year, a large number of birds pass away as a result of diseases. Clean all feeders once a week and water containers every day, making sure they are completely dry afterward, to stop the spread of infection. Another way to lower the risk of illness is to rotate the areas where they are placed. Make sure the product you use is safe for birds rather than just your typical household cleaner.

There are tons of other ways we can help birds in the winter and all year long, even if it’s just leaving your garden’s borders to accumulate with leaves. Despite its unkempt appearance, it will give many birds the essential hidden sustenance.

To get you going, here are a few winter garden activities.

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A bird’s choice of food is largely determined by its species and location, to name just a couple of the

8. Suet. This high-fat food should be available at your grocery store; if it’s not there, ask the butcher. Thompson recommends making your own suet feeder using a mesh onion bag.

1. Homemade bird treats. This recipe for Zick Dough, an addictive suet that will leave your birds hankering for more, is one of our favorites.

10. Black-oil sunflower seed. Thompson refers to this seed as the “hamburger” of the bird kingdom since almost all of the birds that visit your feeder will consume it due to its easily cracked thin shell.

Bill Thompson, III, the renowned editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest, recently posted his top 10 foods on the magazine’s website if you’re looking for the best foods to feed birds in the winter. Heres a recap of his list:

3. Mealworms. Although the idea of mealworms may make you queasy, most feeder birds will eat them—with the exception of goldfinches, according to Thompson He recommends storing 1,000 mealworms in a tub of traditional rolled oats and distributing them into a shallow ceramic dish with slick sides so the worms can’t get out.


What fruit do birds eat in the winter?

Fruit. Grapes or sliced citrus, apple, or banana are a special treat that will draw many birds. “If you want to feed raisins, chop them up and soak them in warm water first to soften them up a bit,” suggests Thompson.

Can you feed birds apples in winter?

Fruit. Humans are supposed to eat at least three servings of fruit every day. Fruit is also an important dietary element for birds, but it can be hard to find in many areas in midwinter. Set out grapes, slices of citrus fruits, apple or banana slices, and even melon rinds, and watch the birds chow down.

What birds eat apples?

Apples. Birds that eat apples: Eastern bluebird, pine grosbeak, gray catbird, northern cardinal, northern flicker, American robin, scarlet tanager, cedar waxwing and red-bellied woodpecker. Serving suggestion: Slice them up and remove the seeds.

Should I leave my bird feeders out in winter?

Bird feeders can help attract birds to your space during the winter when natural food sources might be buried beneath snow or limited in supply. Keeping your feeders up into the spring can help support birds on their long migrations north.