Bird behaviour in winter

Similarly to us humans, bird behaviour tends to change with the seasons. From feeding times to cleaning habits; all of the actions we’re familiar with change when winter rolls around.

As with many wonderful wildlife species, birds act with purpose and don’t just alter their behaviours for the fun of it! These slight changes help to prepare birds for the harsh weather conditions and ensure they survive the winter season.

Being able to spot and understand your local birds’ activities around the winter season will help you to better care for your feathered friends during this frosty time of year! Read on to discover how to help birds in winter.

How do birds survive in the winter?

If you’re wondering, ‘What do birds do in winter to help them survive?’ look no further! We break down everything you need to know about how birds survive in winter in this easy guide.

To see themselves through the season, birds’ bodies need to be kept at suitable temperature levels. As a result, some of the behaviours they carry out to keep themselves warm include:

  • Shivering – Increased muscle movement and circulation can help them gain warmth
  • Turning their backs to the sun to heat themselves more efficiently
  • Tucking one leg under themselves and using their feathers to shield them from the cold
  • Crowding together with other birds to share body heat
  • Fluffing out their feathers to create pockets of air for insulation

What do you feed birds in the winter?

Another tactic that birds use to survive the glacial conditions of winter is eating more; also a tactic adopted by some of us when the bounty of delicious Christmas cuisine rolls around!

Good bird foods to feed your garden visitors this season include suet, sunflower seed and peanuts. As well as this, it’s crucial to keep birds hydrated, so be sure to keep your bird bath clean and topped up.

Foods that contain high amounts of fat that will keep birds nourished and energised for the whole season. Read our essential winter feeding information for more tips and tricks.

Also, take a look our range of suet products for birds, as well as our bird seed collection for delicious, nutritious treats to feed your birds this winter!

Winter bird watching tips…

Winter is a superb time of year to take to the outdoors and see the array of stunning wildlife that Britain has to offer.

We have a wealth of seasonal birdwatching tips for you browse through and of course, don’t forget to log your sightings in our handy BirdSpotter app!