Winter has well and truly arrived here in Queenstown. The curtains are drawn early, and the smoke is billowing out of chimneys all over town as we huddle by the fire and wait for spring to arrive…or something like that! Lucky for us, we have lots of tools at our disposal to stay cosy through the winter months, but what about all the birds who we share this beautiful region with?

Fortunately Mother Nature has worked her magic on our feathered friends and equipped them with efficient little winter coats. Deceptively thick, bird’s feathers actually do a great job at trapping heat! And even the most solitary amongst them will snuggle together to keep warm. The biggest problem, however, is finding food. Human activity like farming, especially here in the Queenstown Lakes District, has the danger of leaving our feathery mates without the nutrition they need! That’s where we come in! Lots of New Zealanders enjoy feeding birds to help them through the winter. While it’s great to do your bit, make sure you know what to fill your feeders with. Sugar water and fruit for native birds and nuts and seeds for non-natives – simple!

If you really want to make a positive contribution though, have a think about supporting revegetation projects and choosing bird friendly plants for your outside spaces. Check out some examples below and exercise your green fingers when Spring comes back around!

Kowhai  - a firm favourite of bellbirds and tuis.

Miro – cherished by the Maoris for their juicy fruit these large trees act as a canopy for birds and plants.

Large evergreen trees – provide essential cover and shelter from the elements.