Habitat Creation |Wildlife Gardening
Of the birds that visit any garden, some will be only winter visitors, interested in available food, from artificial (peanuts) or natural (invertebrates) sources. It is believed that the widespread habit of feeding birds in winter has helped raise the populations of some commoner birds, such as blue tits, and enabled other species to winter further north than they used to. Blackcaps and siskins now regularly spend winter in British gardens. Whilst other birds that are resident may also nest in gardens. For this they need suitable nest sites, such as hedges, shrubberies, holes in walls and of course nest boxes.
When they do nest, they not only require a safe, well hidden site, but they also need a territory from which to draw food to feed their young. This is likely to be a much greater area than one garden alone, and the more suitable the habitat, the higher the density of birds that can nest there. Since birds feed feed their young on caterpillars and other insects plants native to the area are generally the most productive, since higher numbers of insects can feed on them.
There are no hard and fast rules about feeding birds, but most people prefer to put out food from late Autumn to April. For the rest of the year, birds will find food for themselves, and they are more likely to take correct natural food for their nestlings.