The harsh, cold winter weather is difficult for humans to endure. The Eastern part of the U.S. and regions of Canada were pummeled with snow a couple weeks ago, which make it challenging for people to drive to work and earn a living. Some areas were even on a level two warning, which meant no driving unless it was an emergency. Blizzards and freezing temperatures can come at a moment’s notice, and it’s important to be mindful of the local wildlife that might be struggling too.
Britain’s local wildlife has been having a tough time with the winter season. Smaller birds like the wren are especially at risk, because they have such a small body mass and require constant body heat and food sources for survival. Even larger birds including the blackbird, thrush and starling are finding it difficult to tap through the snow and ice to access worms and beetles. Barn owl casualties have been high too, because voles and mice are in low supply.
Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather, but we can at least do small things to make the outdoors a bit more bearable for these creatures. When you have scrap food and leftovers, you can set them out for animals instead of adding it to your compost bin. Some good treats include cheese, nuts, fruits, cooked pasta and rice without sauce, cooked potatoes, low sodium bacon, bread and pastries. These items are high in protein and carbohydrates, which can help keep these animals full and energized longer. One rule of thumb is to steer away from rotten foods.
For deer and other wildlife that might be looking for more shelter, take tree trimmings and place them under your shed’s roof hanging or close to the edge of your backyard woods. The tree trimmings can provide dry, warm bedding. During the spring, you might want to consider planting more trees and fruit bushes. This is an easy way to provide animals with more shelter and food.
The winter season is a rough time for all animals, and a little help can go a long way. So do what you can to increase the chances of local wildlife surviving the bitter cold months ahead.