Winter Wildlife Care
With Winter well underway, many of us will notice new and exciting creatures visiting our gardens in search for food and shelter. From birds to hedgehogs, there are a plethora of ways in which you can do your bit to support the lives of our furry friends in the wild.
Here at Natural Cornish Pet Shop, our care for animals extends beyond the support we give to the animals in your house. Providing hints and tips for our customers about how to care for birds and other wildlife that grace our presence this time of year, we really do love all creatures great and small. So if you are welcoming a few extra furry friends this winter, here’s our guide about how you can support your local wildlife this winter.
Buy a Bird Feeder
Flocking around our gardens and homes during the wintery weather, creating an ideal feeding place for these wonderful creatures can be beneficial to both you and the birds. With just some simple ingredients, a bird feeder can bring an array of species to your garden leaving you feeling as if you’re watching an episode of BBC’s Winterwatch.
Due to their demanding appetites, birds require a consistent supply of food that is both easily located and consumed. Feeders can prevent birds from needing to forage and expend energy in the cold winter months. If they become familiar with an easy to reach feeding ground, they inevitably use less time and energy, giving them time to be utilised elsewhere.
Here at the shop, we sell a selection of beautiful bird feed that will make our feathered friends visit our gardens time and time again.
Build a Hedgehog House
As these prickly pals visit garden upon garden in the night to find suitable nesting grounds and places to feed, creating a hedgehog house in your own garden can really make the difference to a hedgehog’s survival.
Creating a sufficient home in the winter is essential for hedgehogs to survive hibernation. In our gardens, hedgehogs will often stock pile leaves, twigs and even reeds in the autumn months to prepare for settling down for winter. To make life easier and more beneficial for hedgehogs, creating a cosy home in the depths of your garden can support their survival.
The most simplistic way to create a hedgehog home is to use a wooden or plastic storage box. Cut out partitions and entrances and bury into a mound for easy access for your prickly pals. Fill with straw or soft bedding to make the home as hedgehog friendly as possible. Place in a quiet area of your garden and avoid entrances facing North/North East (the direction of wintery winds). Once set, allow any hedgehogs to roam free and enjoy a warm and cosy home this winter.
Water for Wildlife
As the cold and frost sets in throughout our Cornish coast, many drinking places for our local wildlife can be affected by a touch of frost. Keeping small dishes of water on your bird tables or outside garden areas will encourage local birds to take a drink in your glorious garden.
In addition, if you find yourself with a frozen pond this winter, melt a hole in the pond to ensure your wildlife can thrive and visiting birds can also take a drink. Replenishing this water is just as vital as setting it out, ensure that it is changed daily to ensure no harbouring of bacteria and that your feathered friends get a fresh drink in those wintery winds.
Spare Nuts for Squirrels
In addition to feathery friends on your bird feeder, you may also find a furry friend with a particularly bushy tail. Squirrels can be found gracing gardens all across Cornwall this winter and as they do not hibernate are attracted to gardens with bird feeders as a sure sign of food.
Squirrels (like many other small mammals) forage for food during the winter time thus their survival in the colder months is dependent on the quantity of food they find. Attracted to all things nutty, adding a mixture of nuts to your bird feeding table can encourage these fluffy tailed critters to perch on your feeder and give you another glorious thing to gaze at this winter.