Posted on Dec 17, 2023 at 12:03 pm by James T
In the heart of winter, many French gardens welcome a variety of birds braving the cold to migrate to milder lands and/or find food.
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Winter Birds: Charming Visitors in Our Gardens in Winter
Discover below some of the common bird species that you may have the pleasure of observing during this cold season, featuring the magnificent Northern Bullfinch.
- House Sparrow: Recognizable by its brown plumage and found in urban areas.
- Tits: Variety of colors and characteristic agility, often observed in winter.
- Blackbirds: Elegant with their dark plumage and melodious songs.
- Northern Bullfinch: A winter jewel, males are distinguished by their bright red plumage, offering a touch of color and melody despite the winter cold.
- Northern Chaffinch: Males have a black head, brown back, and marked white wings, while females are brownish and less colorful than males.
Recognizing the Northern Chaffinch
To recognize this magnificent Northern Chaffinch, keep in mind these distinctive characteristics: this small passerine bird displays an elegant plumage: its wings, head, and tail are sprinkled with a sooty black color while its chest is tinged with orange and its belly is white.
The tail of the Northern Chaffinch is often forked, its head is round, and it has a short, conical beak. During the winter season, these birds often form social groups and their flight is smooth and undulating.
Creating a Welcoming Environment for the Northern Chaffinch
Provide accessible water sources and feeders for all passing Northern Chaffinches. The Northern Chaffinch particularly appreciates open spaces: make sure the feeders are placed in locations where they will feel safe from potential predators.
Also, make sure to provide fresh water to quench their thirst, especially during freezing periods: use methods to prevent ice formation on the surface so that the Northern Chaffinches can drink from it!
The Migration Cycle of the Northern Chaffinch
Accustomed to winter conditions, the Northern Chaffinch spends the rest of the year in Scandinavian countries but generally likes to spend the cold season a bit further south, in the Alps! In December, they migrate in groups, sometimes covering up to 6,000 kilometers, offering bird enthusiasts in France a unique opportunity to observe them in gardens!
Observing the Northern Chaffinch in Your Garden
To attract and observe the Northern Chaffinch in your garden, it is important to create an environment conducive to their passage and search for food. However, also be careful to avoid the most common mistakes when feeding birds in winter, to ensure their well-being and safety throughout this demanding season.
Here are some useful tips:
Offer a variety of seeds and berries, such as black sunflowers, peanuts, and red fruits, to attract these birds that enjoy diverse food. Install perches and shelters to allow them to rest safely away from predators.
Do not disturb the bird when it is present in your garden, especially by avoiding loud noises and sudden movements that could scare away the Northern Chaffinch and keep it away from your green space.
Protecting the Northern Chaffinch and Other Migratory Birds
By welcoming these colorful and elegant birds in your garden, you are also contributing to the protection of migratory species that pass through our country. By following these simple tips, you provide a refuge and a valuable source of food for birds like the Northern Chaffinch that brave the winter to migrate to milder lands.
In summary, attracting the Northern Chaffinch to your garden in December requires creating a conducive, secure, and varied environment in terms of food and shelter. Welcome these magnificent birds with enthusiasm and participate in their preservation and that of other migratory species. All that remains is for you to enjoy the aerial and colorful ballet they will offer to your amazed eyes.