To feed or not to feed – that’s the question

Falling snow

Right now, Sweden is a country covered in snow from north to south – a rather unusual condition – with temperatures down to minus 40 degrees C in the far north to harsh winds and substantial snowdrifts in the flatter and more open landscapes further south.

This time of year the constant debate whether to feed or not feed the wild birds is also brought to life. I don’t think supplementary feeding is doing any harm. Even if the birds visit the feeding stations they still get most of their food from nature’s own sources.

Anyway, Roffe recently started a “bird restaurant” in the woodlands along our nearby lake. No, it’s not a restaurant with birds on the menu, but a feeding station for birds to make it a little easier for them when the ground is covered with knee deep snow and the thermometer sometimes drops to minus 20 degrees or lower.

Snowy fence 2





The black bird on its way for a bite to eat.

Flying blackbird


The left over pork rind from the Christmas ham in a mesh sock makes a delicious treat for the Great tit.

Great tit with pork rind


To let the apples remain in the trees during winter is a good deed and to the birds’ delight.

Magpie in an apple tree



From this bench (when not covered with snow) you can watch the birds at close range when picking seeds from the feeding station and on the ground. Here you can also enjoy the stunning view over the meadows and the lake. Right now the lake is frozen though, and covered with snow and it’s all white as far as the eye can see.

View over the lake


Close to the shore and the exit of a runnig creek the water is still open for the mallards to swim and dive. Take it easy with the bread feeding of the mallards though, bread is not nutritious enough!

Diving mallards

Mallard - gräsand


2 thoughts on “To feed or not to feed – that’s the question

  1. “Our” birds hit the feeders first thing in the morning when they need an energy boost and later in the afternoon to “fill up” before they roost; the rest of the day they forage in the fields. With deep snow like you have, a lot of their seed and berry sources are buried under the snow. Without supplemental feeding, I’m sure many birds would not survive.

  2. Kaya

    I still didn’t figure out how to photograph falling snow. Your picture of falling snow is magical!!!

    And I love very much a male duck. Standing there lonely and covered a little bit with a few snow flakes!

    Excellent photography!

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