Garden Wildlife Care During Winter: A Guide

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Bird Feeders:

Birds need high-energy foods during winter. Provide seeds, suet, and nuts to help them maintain their energy levels.

Water Sources:

Ensure a fresh and ice-free water source for wildlife. Consider using a birdbath heater or regularly replacing the water to prevent it from freezing.

Shelter and Nesting Boxes:

Place birdhouses and shelters to protect birds from harsh weather. Clean out nesting boxes in late fall to make them ready for spring.

Leave Seed Heads:

Leave some plants unpruned to provide shelter for insects and birds. Seed heads and dried plants can also serve as additional food sources.

Squirrel Feeders:

If you have squirrels in your area, provide them with their own feeding station to minimize competition with birds.

Hedgehog Houses:

Hedgehogs often hibernate during winter. Provide hedgehog houses or shelters to offer a safe place for them to rest.


Be mindful of potential hibernating sites. Avoid unnecessary digging or disturbances that may disrupt wildlife during their winter sleep.

Food for Other Wildlife:

If you have larger mammals in your area, consider leaving out supplementary food, like dog or cat food, for them.

Butterflies and Insects:

Butterflies and insects may use fallen leaves for protection. Avoid excessive leaf clearing in all areas of your garden.

Limit Chemical Use:

Limit the use of pesticides and chemicals in your garden. These can harm not only pests but also beneficial insects and wildlife.


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