January is time to watch the birdie, so stock the larder

After an unusually warm start to the winter, and an abundance of natural food available for our garden birds, many bird feeders around the country have remained unseasonably quiet.

However as food sources start to dwindle now is the time to top up your feeders and prepare for the increase in demand for food, especially if you are taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January.

Different foods will help to attract different species. For example, robins adore mealworms and goldfinches are mad about Nyjer seed so as a general rule the more varieties you put out the more species you are likely to attract.

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To make sure that each and every bird gets adequate food to meet their needs the best solution is to fill your feeders regularly.

Fat products are a popular choice during the winter months as they give the birds a vital energy boost, which is just what they need in cold weather.

High energy foods such as Sunflower Hearts are also highly recommended s they help the birds to take on calories quickly and efficiently.

You can also consider putting out additional feeders to cope with demand and it is advised to avoid disturbing the feeding areas during the first and last hours of the day when they are at their busiest.

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The Big Garden Birdwatch has generated some interesting findings over the last 30 years and helps to give a snap shot of bird populations across the different regions.

For further information on how to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch on the January 28 and 29 visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

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