HERE are some top tips on how to give your garden birds a home this Christmas from Morwenna Alldis from RSPB South West...

Food - As temperatures start to drop our garden birds need a helping hand finding food, water and shelter. To help maintain body temperature feed them sunflower seeds, peanuts or fat-based food bars.

Monitor - Keep track of how much food your garden birds eat and adjust how much you put out. During cold weather it’s a good idea to feed twice a day.

Water - Make sure you also provide fresh daily water for your birds in a birdbath, pond or even a recycled shallow container with a stone inside so that they can perch to drink and bathe.

A handy tip is to float a light ball on the surface of your pond or birdbath - it will be moved by the breeze and keep a small amount of water ice-free.

Cosy Shelter - Autumn/winter is the perfect time to install a nestbox in your garden.

Birds can investigate the box now, before nesting season begins in the spring. And you may even find that some birds use the box as a winter roost - valuable shelter from blustery weather.

Birds very quickly get used to a regular food supply, so by feeding your garden birds now, you should encourage regular visits from your local bird population all year round – just in time for our Big Garden Birdwatch Survey which runs from Saturday, January 26 to Monday, January 28 2019 and celebrates its 40th anniversary too.

For your free 40th anniversary Big Garden Birdwatch pack including a bird identification chart, RSPB shop voucher and advice to help you attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit