AgribusinessAgri-LinkGainCountryLifeglanbia plc
Home    Gardener's Corner    News    Locations    About    Contact twitter facebook facebook pintrest
Gardening Advice Blog

Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

view all blogs   what to do in the garden by month   how to care for specific plants   Our horticulturists top tops for around the garden   Browse our other categories in the menu below

Winter Bird Care

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Dec 21, 2015
With careful plant selection gardens can become fantastic green sanctuaries for a huge amount of wildlife
With careful plant selection gardens can become fantastic green sanctuaries for a huge amount of wildlife. There is an endless list of plants that will attract pollinating insects into the garden during summer like lavender which seemed to be a top favourite for bees in my own garden this summer.

However as we move into autumn and winter many garden visitors start to disappear as the cold weather moves in. The main visitor over the coming months will be birds in search of shelter, food and water as the weather turns.

Many gardeners who are fond of birds and want to encourage them into their gardens will plant trees and shrubs which offer winter berries or fruitMany gardeners who are fond of birds and want to encourage them into their gardens will plant trees and shrubs which offer winter berries or fruit. Sorbus trees, pyracantha and holly are just three plants which will not only offer food for birds but seasonal colour to a garden.

Of course there is shop bought ways to care for birds this year if you do not have any berry producing plants in your garden. At the moment in Countrylife we have a wide range of different bird feeders in stock that will work perfectly in any garden no matter what the size.

In general there are three types of bird feeders available. Ones made of mesh or wire are perfect for peanuts or energy balls. You can get plastic feeders that have small grooves at the bottom which are perfect for fine seed such as nyjer seed which finches love. Then you have the most common bird feeder that you will see in many gardens which is made of plastic and has two small openings at the bottom that can be used to feed smaller birds seeds.

I find it is a good idea to have a mixture of different feeders around the garden and in that way you will cater for different types of birds. Whichever option you choose it is important to be smart with your placement of it. Make sure to stand back and think could a cat or other predator get at the feeder easily. If you answer yes move it to a safer location that birds can use it.


If you decide to start feeding birds in your garden it is very important to keep doing it throughout the winter months and into spring. Just like children are dependent on you cooking dinner for them every night, birds will become dependent on you feeding them during cold weather.

Food is very important but many people tend to forget about water during the winter. Birds will require fresh drinking water even when there is frost and snow on the ground. A simple shallow bowl or container will do the job perfectly. If frost is predicted placing a tennis ball in the water will help to stop the water freezing over. It is important to keep it topped up and to wash out the container regularly.

If you have a bird house in your garden it is a good time to give it a good clean and disinfect it so it is ready for use. If you do not already have a bird house in your garden now is a good time to introduce one. It won't be used straightaway but if you put it in the garden now by the time spring and nesting season comes around the birds have become comfortable with it and will use it.

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We made it to the final round of this year's Irish Blog Awards! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to vote for us. #bloggies15

2015 Blog Awards Ireland Finalist