when do we *not* feed birds?

i ask this because earlier during the year, especially during the summer, we tend to hear birds singing from trees neighbours on our street has, and so i had a birdfeeder on our washing line where it would swing by like loyal customers nibbling away our bird food. we tend to have house sparrows, mainly.

i been busy with other things and now, during this wet season, i dont hear the birds. my mum has taken down the birdseed.

my question is whether it is a good idea to have birdfeeders down during this time when it gets cold, or keep them up? i ask because i dont know if maybe all the birds may be migrating or moved elsewhere for better climate conditions at this time of year. i'm no bird expert, but i do care about them, and thought i ask. i am also concerned whether continuing having birdfeeders out could disrupt the local birds migration patterns from where they're supposed to be?

on the other hand, having food out there during this time could keep them warm? i'm based in kent.

please advise, thanks

  • Hi, you may find this link helpful


    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Good link Linda. Once you start a feeding station up you should feed all the time especially in winter, and if its snows scrap away some snow from under the feeder so the ground feeder's can have some to A.


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  • Hello A, I feed all year round. It is not necessary, some feed only in the breeding season when the young need that bit extra and the parents after their had work from rearing the babies and in winter when food may be harder for them to source, especially in snowy and icy conditions.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • I tend to reduce feeding through the summer because we've had both trich and a goldfinch disease that seem to be worse when it's wam and damp, I also garden for wildlife so hope that the birds are able to forage.

    Cin J

  • thanks. i'll keep the birdfeeders up. it gets annoying when the seeds get all soggy by the rain, i have to keep cleaning it up for fresh seeds to flow out...

    i also have another question. i live by the thames and over there and at a nearby lake, we have swans. lots of them - about 20. i notice as well as the usual white ones i saw some grey ones too, i guess these are maybe youngsters?

    my same question applies to the swans - should i continue feeding them kibbles during the winter, or would that disrupt their migrating patterns if swans and ducks are supposed to swim off to better places during winter? i made a seperate thread about a 'lonely swan in the lake' - until recently, it looks like it has a partner there now. should i continue feeding them too or not if theyre due to fly away from the lake to migrate? i am worried if i keep feeding them they might not migrate and stay there waiting for me. i dont want them to freeze to death when it gets very windy, rainy and snowy!