Feeding your garden birds

Peter McNish

As you probably already know, Britain has a spectacular variety of wild birds to be observed by the casual birdwatcher. However, because these creatures are not used to human contact, it can be difficult to get close enough to them to truly appreciate their beauty. Luckily, though, there is one simple solution to this problem- provide the wild birds with food on a bird table, and you’ll soon find you can observe them from the comfort of your own home!

However, it’s important to make careful choices about what foods you leave out for wild birds, or you could end up doing them harm. In autumn and winter, when food is more scarce, you should leave out food that is high in fat, to give the birds more energy. In the spring and summer months, though, you should make the switch to foods that are high in protein. This is because this is the time when birds commonly moult, and they need a lot of protein in their diet to grow back a nice new set of healthy feathers.

There are plenty of foods that can provide wild birds with the protein they need at this time of year, and will also turn your garden into a veritable menagerie of activity. Mealworms and waxworms are great for attracting omnivores, while sunflower seeds, raisins, and seed mixtures are suitable for all, and may help to get more variety in your garden. You can even try fruit like apples and bananas, if you want to help your local wildlife get a little tropical variety in their diet. Something to bear in mind, though, is to avoid putting out whole peanuts during spring and early summer these can be harmful if adults feed them to their young. A better option might be peanut granules or split peanuts.

One mistake that many people make when feeding wild birds, however, is to put out sunflower seeds, instead of sunflower hearts. While the former still has the shell on, making it difficult for wild birds to break them open, hearts come already shelled, providing a much more attractive prospect to birds. Sine they’re easier to eat, you’ll find that not only do more wild birds visit your bird table in the first place, but those that do will eagerly return time and again. Click here to buy some for yourself- you’ll soon notice your bird table becoming a lot busier!



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