A guide to feeding birds with Christmas leftovers

Peter McNish

With the sheer volume of Christmas of food on offer during the festive season, it’s no surprise that so many of us have leftovers going spare. But not to worry, we’re here to help you put your unwanted Christmas leftovers to good use!

Our handy guide will provide you with everything you need to know about feeding birds at Christmas, so your friendly garden visitors can enjoy your festive leftovers as much as you do!

 

What not to feed wild birds

We, birders, know that many wild birds enjoy foods such as fruits, nuts and of course, our delicious mixed bird seed. However, it’s important to remember what not to feed wild birds too.

As a general rule of thumb, if a food is unhealthy for us humans, assume that it’s unhealthy for birds too. This will prevent you accidentally feeding your feathered friends something that may be dangerous for them.

Christmas leftovers to keep away from your garden birds include pigs in blankets, cured meats, crisps, cakes, bread and fruits treated with pesticides. Large quantities of salt can be harmful to birds, as can processed fatty foods, such as cake and bread.

 

 

‘Can birds eat vegetables?’

Leftover vegetables make a tasty, nutritious treat for wild birds so long as they’re not too sweet or salty.

Don’t fill their feeding table with your leftover honey roasted parsnips. Instead, chop any leftover boiled or tinned veg into manageable chunks for your birds to enjoy!

 

‘Can I give raisins to the birds?’

If you have any leftover dry raisins from making your Christmas pudding, don’t let them go to waste! When soaked in water, these make a super tasty treat for ground feeding birds such as blackbirds, starlings and song thrushes.

Raisins are especially good to feed to your birds in late autumn and winter when natural fruit sources are scarce.

 

Feeding birds in winter

It’s especially important to make sure your birds are fed and watered this festive season, as winter is a tough time for them. The lack of food and shelter makes it difficult for them to survive.

Fat balls and suet products offer birds the energy they need to sustain them through the cold season. As well as this, be sure to keep birds hydrated by supplying them with water throughout the winter.

If you need a helping hand on what to feed your birds, look no further! Our blog has a whole host of bird feeding tips to help you keep your garden friends healthy and happy in winter, and throughout the rest of the year.

 



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