Questions & Answersback

What do birds do in the course of a day?

Answer: Wild birds sleep at night and are awake as soon as it is light.
Small birds do not take a midday siesta. As with humans and all other animal species the birds’ activity level is adapted to the number of daylight hours, the weather and time of the year: In winter (November/March) the birds become less active due to the shorter number of daylight hours and the fall in temperature.
Morning song is kept to a minimum and most birds restrict their activity to a single meal in the morning and evening, either in the form of natural food or meals taken at garden feeding stations. The rest of the day is spent in trees, bushes or hedges, where the birds snuggle up to stay warm and conserve their energy.  In the breeding season (April/July) the activity level rises dramatically.
The birds search for a mate, couples are established and territories marked out and defended. The birds mate, build their nests, lay their eggs and have to find enough food to feed their young and meet their own nutritional needs. During this period the birds are constantly hunting for food and can therefore be seen at gardens feeding stations throughout the day.
The morning starts at daybreak with birdsong, which serves to attract a mate and warn other birds of the same species that the territory is spoken for.

The breeding season is followed by a short moulting season in August.
The frayed feathers of the breeding season are replaced by new plumage, which also helps the birds to rid themselves of unwanted vermin.
Small birds are vulnerable and are not the best of flyers, so activity is restricted during this period to mirror that of the winter season: Breakfast and dinner with the rest of the day spent in hiding, snuggled up and preening feathers (which the birds do throughout the year to trim and maintain their feathers). The moulting season is followed by the preparatory season: September and October is the time when the migratory birds from the more northerly parts of Scandinavia migrate to Denmark to stop over or winter, and certain Danish small birds prepare to migrate south or southwest to warmer winter habitats.

But the vast majority of Danish birds are non-migratory birds and must therefore get themselves into the best possible shape in order to survive the tough winter months ahead.
This means that the birds are constantly in search of food and that garden feeding stations are a hub of activity throughout the day. It is during this period that the birds prefer to consume fat-rich food such as nuts, sunflower seed, hempseed, fat balls and other fat mixes.