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Wild Birds

With the colder months incoming, its even more important to keep our feathered friends fed and watered, with food supply becoming scarcer and weather conditions harsher. At this time of year, the birds need more energy to keep themselves warm, so providing higher calorific foods such as suet pellets, fat balls, sunflower hearts, peanuts and mealworms is important. Providing water is equally important. A tip for stopping a dish of water from freezing is placing a ball in the dish.

 

There are many wild bird foods on the market, from seed mixes to suet cakes and fat balls, which all have their own individual benefits. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start when shopping for wild bird food, so why not start by identifying the types of birds you have visiting your garden.




Types of feeds

-       Small seeds such as millet attract house sparrows, dunnocks, finches and doves

-       Flaked maize are favoured by black birds

-       Peanuts and sunflower seeds are enjoyed by green finches and tits

-       Wheat barley grains are suitable for ground feeding birds such as pigeons, doves and pheasants

-       Niger seeds are rich in fat and have a high oil content, thus are favoured by gold finches and popular with tits, green finches, house sparrows,

-       Crushed Peanuts are popular with robins dunnocks and wrens whilst nuthatches and coal tits may hoard whole/ half peanuts.

-       Fat balls and suet are excellent winter food devoured by many of our feathered friends.

-       Mealworms can be fed throughout the year and are relished by robins and blue tits

 

Feeders

Feeders are essential, as many birds will feel too vulnerable to venture down to the ground where you may have scattered a handful of seeds; with some birds being unequipped for pecking at seeds on the ground. You should set up several stations around your garden to reduce competition and crowding as this could put birds off from coming to your garden. Additionally, feeders should be located close to cover, but away from larger shrubs and trees where cats may be hiding.

 

What not to feed them

-       Milk is not digestible by birds and can be fatal

-       Salty foods can make birds unwell so avoid putting out salted peanuts or crisp crumbs

-       Foods that are too hard or left in larger pieces can pose choking hazards to birds. For whole peanuts, ensure you use a feeder to stop smaller birds from getting to them.

-       Don’t provide bread as it is very filling with low nutritional value meaning birds can gorge on bread and become malnourished. Dried bread can also cause a choking hazard.

 

Info taken from RSPB, garden bird

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