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Winter is upon us, and food supplies for wild animals and birds are running low. Providing food for birds in the garden is not only a great way to help them survive the winter, it also attracts a variety of species to the garden and provides an opportunity to observe them and their feeding habits. You do need to be careful about what food you put out and where you site bird tables and feeders, but it’s no more complicated than applying simple common sense. For example, if you have cats, don’t put bird feeders where the cats are likely to be able to catch unsuspecting birds: position hanging feeders at the end of long tree branches and well away from places where the cats can hide under cover ready to leap out. You could also wrap a length of barbed wire loosely around the branch or, if you have a bird table, around the top of the post.