News Advice and Blog

It’s The Big Green Week all across the UK. The Big Green Week is a nationwide event that has over 4500 events taking place all over the country in an effort to raise awareness and prevent climate change.

A huge part of The Big Green Week is all about green living and protecting the nature we have here in the UK that might be damaged by climate change. Animals like birds who have lost their homes and hunting grounds.

You can help by feeding the birds in your garden and making sure that they are getting enough to eat. To do this it’s important that you know how much birds seed you will buy, how much to use to prevent unnecessary waste and how to save on bird feed.

The Great Big Green Week

Decide Which Bird feed Is Right For You

First things first, you need to know what kind of bird food you want to feed your garden birds. Whether you are new to bird feeding or it is a regular hobby of yours it’s always a good idea to make sure you know exactly what you are feeding your garden birds and what this will do to them.

Different bird food attracts different birds. Decide what kind of birds you want to attract to your garden and see what kind of foods they like. Kenedy wild birds feed even has bags of birdseed designed for certain birds to eat so be sure to check out the website.

Even if the food doesn’t attract the birds you are trying to entice, birds will always come to your garden if you put food out so don’t worry about it going to waste.

Some of the bird food we supply for your garden birds includes:

Mixed Birdseed

We sell a range of mixed birds seeds with every mix specially designed to either suit a particular bird or help with a particular part of the bird’s diet.

Mealworms For Birds

We sell both dried and live mealworms for birds. We also sell a specially designed mealworm bird feeder.

Peanuts For Birds

The peanuts we sell for birds are different from the ones you find in supermarkets. It’s important you only feed birds the food that has been tested so that is it not harmful to them. We have a variety of peanuts for birds including peanuts both with and without shells.

Plain Wild Bird Seeds

We get a variety of different seeds from a range of different plants and food mixes including maize, oats and raisins.

Suet For Birds

Suet is a great alternative to dry foods. Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food we have a variety of different suet products like suet pellets, fat balls and filled coconut shells.

Sunflower Seeds For Birds

Sunflower seeds are possibly the best thing you possibly feed to your garden birds. They are full of all the nutrients and good fats birds need to stay healthy. We have sunflower hearts, sunflower heart chips and black sunflower seeds.

black sunflower seed

How To Save On Bird Feed When You Buy

If you are buying bird food to feed your garden birds regularly then it can start to add up and you might want to look into how to save money on bird feed.

Be sure to use a company that specialises in bird food. Supermarkets and pet shops tend to have a limited selection and often have very high markups on their products which can mean you aren’t necessarily getting what you pay for.

With a company like Kennedy Wild Bird Food, you know you are getting good value, top quality bird food for a great price.

If you are feeding birds every day and find that you get through a lot of birdseed, then it might be more cost-effective to bulk buy a large quantity of bird feed and buying a larger more expensive bag of birdseed might work our cheaper per Kg.

With Kenedy Wild Bird Feed we deliver our bird food to you free of charge.

economy bird seed

How To Make Sure Your Not Wasting Bird Feed

If you find, are you are getting through a lot more birdseed than you expect then you might be overfeeding your birds. It’s best to only fill your bird feeder once a day, any more than that can be excessive, and birds may be coming back to eat even though they have already had more than enough. Birds will not starve if your bird feeder runs empty and they will always be able to find food nearby or wait until you fill your bird feeder again the next day.

It could be that other animals like squirrels or mice are stealing from your bird feeders. If this is the case, make sure your bird feeder is somewhere that ground pests can’t reach or maybe get a bird feeder designed to stop squirrels and other animals from getting to the bird food inside.

squirell proof peanut feeder

There are many fun facts and helpful tips you’ve probably heard when it comes to feeding the birds. A lot of these are tur and you can read more about this helpful information on our blog.

However, as with most things, some of these facts are really fiction and simply not true. Here are some common misunderstandings when it comes to feeding the birds.

Birds Won’t Become Dependent On Bird Feeders

Some people have suggested that if birds get too used to eating bird food left out by humans, they will get complacent and forget how to hunt and scavenge for food for themselves.

This is not true, and birds won’t become dependent on bird feeders. Birds need a lot of calories to make it through the day and as soon as they have finished feeding at your bird feeder, they’re off again looking for more food.

Nuthatch eating eating seeds from a bird feeder

Feeding The Birds Doesn’t Get In The Way Of Migration

Birds migrate in winter because food gets scarce. It’s harder to find food in these harsher weather conditions so they travel to a warmer part of the globe. Feeding the birds in winter won’t change this so don’t worry you are getting in the way of migration and incentivising them to stay.

Birds migrate for a range of reasons like nesting mating and the food you leave out for them could help give them the burst of energy they need to last the long trip.

Birds Can Eat Rice

A popular myth about birds is that eating rice will make their stomachs explode. This is not true. Plenty of birds eat grains like rice out in the wild and it’s perfectly safe for you to feed them it.

Cooked rice is preferable as it’s easier for the birds to eat, so if you have any leftover rice from last nights dinner, leaving it on the bird table can be a great way to reduce food waste and help our feathered friends.

Birds Can Eat Peanut Butter

There is a misconception that peanut butter is too sticky for birds and will get stuck in their beaks and throat. Don’t worry, there is no evidence to show this can happen.

In truth, peanut butter is very good for birds and is high in all the nutrients and fats they need. If you are still worried about the stickiness, then you can spread the peanut butter on a bird table to dry or feed them peanuts directly.

peanuts in shells monkey nuts

Birds Will Not Freeze To Feeders Left Out In The Cold

It’s perfectly safe to leave your birds feeder out and full for birds all year round. Even if the temperature gets below freezing and the metal of the feeder gets cold, the birds will not freeze.

Birds have evolved to survive temperatures much colder than we humans are used to and their bodies are covered in thick feathers or scaly tissue which means they can stay out in the cold and eat from bird feeders without having to worry about getting too cold or freezing.

Birds Still Need Feeding In Summer

Food is harder to find in winter and much more abundant in summer. Because of this people think you don’t need to feed birds in summer because there will be enough food for them in the wild. This is not always the case.

Finding food is always a struggle for birds, especially as more and more housing developments are being built out in the countryside. Birds can always benefit from a little extra food here and there so remember to keep your birds’ feeders and birds’ tables ready from when hungry birds come looking for food, even in summer.

Birds Feeders Are Squirrel Proof

Not all bird feeders are squirrel proof. Some bird feeders can be easily accessed by other creatures and can sometimes even attract unwanted guests and vermin.

If you don’t mind your birds having to share with a few uninvited guests, then that is fine. If you don’t want to have to deal with the mess and disarray certain pests can bring then you might want to get a bird feeder that is specially designed to keep squirrels and other animals from eating your bird food.

squirell proof peanut feeder

Feeding the birds in your garden can be a very fun and very rewarding hobby. You are helping local wildlife survive and thrive whilst also getting to enjoy the array of interesting birds that come to visit your garden.

When you choose to feed the birds in your garden however, you must be very careful. Birds have very delicate digestive systems and feeding them something they aren’t used to or aren’t supposed to eat can be very dangerous and, in some cases, fatal for the bird.

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food, we are dedicated to making healthy nutritious food that is suitable for any and all birds that come to your garden. Here are our top five bird foods.

1.Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are possibly the best thing you feed to the birds in your garden. Sunflower seeds, or specifically sunflower hearts are packed full of vital nutrients and fats that birds need to survive.

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food we have a range of sunflower seeds. We sell sunflower hearts; this is the soft meaty insides of the sunflower that the bird is trying to get to. By buying just the insides it means birds don’t have to struggle with the shell to find the food and that your garden won’t end up full of empty shells.

We also sell black sunflower seeds for birds. Black sunflower seeds have a slighter thinner shell than regular sunflower seeds which makes it easier for the birds to break into them. Black sunflower seeds are extremely good for birds and some of the nutritional benefits of black sunflower seeds include

  • 28% fat
  • 25% fiber
  • 15% percent protein
  • Calcium
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Nuts are a great food to feed birds, but peanuts are especially helpful for them. Peanuts are incredibly high in fat and birds need fat to be able to do most of their daily activities. Flying, protecting their nests or hatchlings and hunting for food can be very exhausting for birds and they need a lot of fat and energy to do them efficiently.

Peanuts are especially important for the winter when the weather turns cold and birds start to rely on their body fat for warmth.

Remember, birds cannot eat salted peanuts or any sort of treated nut that is designed for human consumption. If you want to feed the birds in your garden nuts then make sure you purchase them through a bird food specialist so you know they won’t do the bird any harm.

3. Suet Balls

Suet balls are ball of nutritious fat sometimes with seeds mixed in. they can hand from a tree which makes them perfect for feeding the birds if you do not have a bird feeder or don’t have the room for a bird table.

Suet can be extremely helpful for birds in winter when they need a lot of fat fast to survive the cold winter weather and don’t have the time to be breaking open shells and nuts.

Kennedy Wild Bird Food has a range of suet for birds including suit pellets, logs, and coconut halves.

4. Birdseed

There is of course a verity of different seeds out there you can feed birds. Seeds make up the majority of a lot of bird’s diets, but different seeds can attract different birds.

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Feed, we sell birdseed in mixes. A lot of our mixed are designed and curated with a specific purpose in mind. For example, we have a mix that is specially designed to give the birds that extra boost of energy they need when it’s cold or food is scarce.

We also have bird food designed for specific birds as well, so if you really want a particular bird to come and visit your garden you can use one of our mixes to try and entices birds like robins and finches to visit your garden.

5. Mealworms

In the wild most birds eat insects. They prefer to hunt and source live insects but will eat seeds and nuts in they need to.

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Feed, we sell mealworms live or dried. This is a great way for bird to get all the vital proteins and fat they would normally be getting from insects in there diets.

As the weather gets hotter and brighter you will likely see more and more birds are visiting your garden. If this is the case you may be wondering do birds need feeding through summer and what is the best way to do this.

Do Birds Need Feeding Through Summer?

Yes, birds need feeding all year round, but especially in summer when they are burning more energy. As we expand our cities and suburban areas out further into the countryside, there are fewer plants for birds to eat.

Luckily birds are very resourceful and adaptable and will probably always be able to find food, but it is of course perfectly and fine and incredibly helpful if you leave food out for them.

Leaving food out for birds will also help attract more birds to your garden so is a great thing to do if you are an avid bird watcher or just like having birds around the garden.

How Should I Feed The Birds?

How you feed the birds is very important. It’s easy to just scatter food on the ground where birds can easily find and get to them, however, this can also be very dangerous. When feeding close to the ground birds are vulnerable to attacks from predators such as foxes and cats.

It’s better to feed birds high up like on a bird table. A bird table is a platform elevated above the ground so that birds can land on and eat from them. Sometimes, however, bird tables can attract other pests like mice and squirrels who will take the opportunity to eat the bird food for themselves.

A bird table may mean the bird is safe from ground predators but they can still be susceptible to attacks from other birds like falcons and hawks.

The best way to feed the birds in your garden is with a bird feeder. A bird feeder is a specially designed container that you can hang from a surface like a roof or a tree branch. By hanging them close to a wall or under a tree, your birds are safe from areal attacks from birds of prey as well as be safe from ground predators.

Here at Kenedy Wild Bird Food, we have birds specially designed so that only birds can get to them, meaning your bird food is safe from squirrels or mice that might try and eat your bird feed.

Squirrel proof peanut feeder for birds
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What Should I Feed The Birds?

Birds have very versatile and very adaptable diets but you should still be careful when deciding what to feed them.

You should really only feed them food that is designed for birds. Whilst it’s probably safe to feed them household items or supermarket products, using a bird food specialist is the only way to guarantee the food is 100% safe for birds to eat.

Here at Kenedy Wild Bird Feed, all of the bird food is not only safe for birds to eat but also provides them with the much-needed nutrients they need to survive.

We have a wide verity of bird food including:

Mixed Birdseed

We sell a range of mixed birds seeds with every mix specially designed to either suit a particular bird or help with a particular part of the bird’s diet.

Mealworms For Birds

We sell both dried and live mealworms for birds. We also sell a specially designed mealworm bird feeder.

Peanuts For Birds

The peanuts we sell for birds are different from the ones you find in supermarkets. It’s important you only feed birds food that has been tested so that is it not harmful to them. We have a variety of peanuts for birds including peanuts both with and without shells.

Plain Wild Bird Seeds

We get a variety of different seeds from a range of different plants and food mixes including maize, oats and raisins.

Suet For Birds

Suet is a great alternative to dry foods. Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Feed we a have a variety of different suet products like suet pellets, fat balls and filled coconut shells.

Sunflower Seeds For Birds

Sunflower seeds are possibly the best thing you possibly feed to your garden birds. They are full of all the nutrients and good fats birds need to stay healthy. We have sunflower hearts, sunflower heart chips and black sunflower seeds.

Where can I Buy Bird Food and Bird Feeders?

Kennedy Wild Bird Feed provides the best quality bird food for your garden birds. We have a range of birds foods for you to choose from depending on what is right for you and the birds you like to feed.

We have everything from protein-packed mealworms, to fatty suet balls and pellets, to our top-quality sunflower seeds for birds. We offer delicious nutritious bird food at a competitive price and offer free next day delivery.

In summer it can be harder for wildlife to source water. All wildlife needs water for drinking and also to stay cool especially when it’s hot in summer and they are burning more energy.

You can help local wildlife like birds, squirrels hedgehogs and more by making sure they have access to water. There are several ways you can provide water for these animals, but sometimes just placing a bowl of water out in your garden might not always be the safest option for some smaller creatures like birds.

Do Birds Need Water?

Birds need water to survive. They need to drink it to stay hydrated. Sometimes in the wild, birds are able to get moisture from eating juicy foods like fruit.

Fruit isn’t always readily available to birds, especially if they live in built-up and suburban areas. A lot of birds in built-up and suburban areas have very dry diets, especially if they mostly survive from food in birdfeeders that tend to be very dry.

Birds do have smaller sweat glands than a lot of wildlife so luckily they don’t lose too much water through perspiration. They do however look hydrated through respiration and excretion so will still need to drink plenty throughout the day.

Birds will also need water for bathing in. For flying animals, it is essential that they keep their feathers in a good condition. Birds need water so they can dampen their feather and this makes them easier to preen.

Preening is when the birds rearrange their feather and spread oil from the preen gland over the feather to help keep them waterproof and trap an insulating layer of air underneath to keep them warm

How Should I Provide Water For Birds?

Providing birds with water will attract more birds to your garden, however, you should be careful how you choose to supply it. Placing a bowl of water on the ground will attract birds, but It will also attract other creatures.

Feeding and drinking low on the ground can make birds an easy target for predators like cats who can easily pounce when a bird is preoccupied.

To keep your garden birds safe make sure the water is somewhere high up or better yet use a birdbath. A birdbath is a great way to provide birds with water that is safe and away from predators, whilst also being the right size for them to drink from or bathe in.

It can also help to have a large area of water like a pond or a pool in your garden, this way a bird can swoop down and collect water without having to stay near the ground long enough for a predator to attack.

What More Can I Do For Birds?

It’s not just water that birds need. Birds use up a lot of every throughout the day so need to be able to get food whenever they need it. By having a bird feeder in your garden you can provide a much-needed source of food for the birds. Having a bird feeder and a place for your birds to get water will not only really help the birds that do visit your garden but will also attract more birds.

What Should I Feed The Birds

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Feed, we have a variety of healthy nutritious foods to suit any garden bird that may visit. Including

Mixed Birdseed

We sell a range of mixed birds seeds with every mix specially designed to either suit a particular bird or help with a particular part of the bird’s diet.

Mealworms For Birds

We sell both dried and live mealworms for birds. We also sell a specially designed mealworm bird feeder.

Peanuts For Birds

The peanuts we sell for birds are different from the ones you find in supermarkets. It’s important you only feed birds food that has been tested so that is it not harmful to them. We have a variety of peanuts for birds including peanuts both with and without shells.

Plain Wild Bird Seeds

We get a variety of different seeds from a range of different plants and food mixes including maize, oats and raisins.

Suet For Birds

Suet is a great alternative to dry foods. Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Feed we a have a variety of different suet products like suet pellets, fat balls and filled coconut shells.

Sunflower Seeds For Birds

Sunflower seeds are possibly the best thing you possibly feed to your garden birds. They are full of all the nutrients and good fats birds need to stay healthy. We have sunflower hearts, sunflower heart chips and black sunflower seeds.

If you enjoy feeding the birds or are thinking about getting a bird feeder then you might want to look at all the different options there are when it comes to buying bird food.

Bird food comes in lots of different forms and varieties. Different birds like different types of food so you might want to consider this when planning what type of food you put out.

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food, we have a range of different foods, including nuts, suet balls mealworms and seeds. We are especially proud of our good quality, nutritious sunflower seeds.

If you are thinking of putting sunflower seeds our for your garden birds then you might want to know which birds prefer sunflower seeds.

Why Choose Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are great seeds to feed your garden birds. They are incredibly healthy and the bird will really benefit from having sunflower seeds in their diet.

Sunflower seeds are packed full of good fats and proteins. Birds need fat and protein in their diets. Fats and protein help the birds maintain a healthy weight and give them the strength and energy they need throughout the day.

Birds tend to need more fats and protein in the winter. Temperatures can drop to freezing and it can be difficult for the bird to maintain a good body temperature without these necessary fats and proteins in their diets.

For that extra protein boost, you can feed your garden birds black sunflower seeds.

What Are Black Sunflower Seeds?

Black sunflower seeds are a type of sunflower seed that is extremely healthy and good for garden birds. They are full of important minerals and nutrients that birds need to survive and are high in oils and proteins.

They are also a source of calcium that garden birds need. Calcium is important for birds and is needed to develop strong bones and can improve the quality and hardness of their eggshells.

Black sunflower seeds have a slightly thinner outer shell which makes them easier for birds to eat and are meatier than some other seeds tend to be.

Other nutritional benefits of black sunflower seeds include

  • 28% fat
  • 25% fiber
  • 15% percent protein
  • Calcium
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Potassium
Black Sunflower Seeds

What Other Types Of Sunflower Seeds Are There?

There are a few different types of sunflower seeds you can feed to your garden birds. Remember you should ways get seeds and nuts from someone who specialises in bird food.

Buying nuts and seeds from a supermarket may be tempting but sometimes these products have been treated with chemicals and might contain preservatives that are harmful to birds.

Using a professional bird food company like Kennedy Wild Bird Food is the only way to ensure the seeds you are feeding to your garden birds are safe for them to eat.

Other types of sunflower seeds include:

  • Striped sunflower seeds –  Stripped sunflower seeds are the entire seed. Birds don’t often go for these as the shell is quite hard and it can be tough for birds to get them open. Birds don’t tend to eat the shells of seeds and are trying to get to the heart inside.
  • Sunflower Hearts – Sunflower hearts are simply the nutritious insides of sunflower seeds but without the shell. This is ideal for smaller birds who can’t open the shells with their smaller softer beaks.  
  • Sunflower heart chips – Sunflower heart chips are chipped or flaked sunflower hearts. This is ideal for small and very young birds who cant eat bigger seeds but still need all the nutrients sunflower seeds provide.
Sunflower Heart Chips

Which Birds Prefer Sunflower Seeds?

Sunflower seeds are safe for most birds to eat. A lot of the time birds aren’t picky and will eat whatever is available. They are smart and resourceful animals that can easily and happily adapt their diet to suit whatever is available to them.

A variety of birds will come to eat from your feeder if you have sunflower seeds and changing to sunflower seeds won’t deter any of the garden birds you already have.

Using sunflower seeds however might lead to an increase of certain birds using your feeds, like finches, sparrows, nuthatches, jays and tits.

Where can I Buy Sunflower Seeds?

Kennedy Wild Bird Feed provides the best quality bird food for your garden birds. We have a range of birds foods for you to choose from depending on what is right for you and the birds you like to feed.

We have everything from protein-packed mealworms, to fatty suet balls and pellets, to our top-quality sunflower seeds for birds. We offer delicious nutritious bird food at a competitive price and offer free next day delivery.

If you enjoy feeding the birds in your garden or are thinking of starting to feed garden birds, then you might be wondering what time of day should you feed birds?

When you feed the birds can vary depending on the weather or time of year. Remember it’s important not to overfeed birds. As much you want to help them they still have to be able to survive on their own and we don’t want to disrupt the natural flow of things.

Should I Feed The Birds In My Garden?

There is nothing wrong with feeding the birds that visit your garden and a little more food won’t do them any harm. As long you make sure to feed them the right kind of bird feed at the right time of day.

There are many reasons why you should feed the birds. Food can be in short supply for birds, especially as we continue to build and expand our cities and suburbs into the countryside. By simply filling a feeder with bird food you are helping the birds survive when food is scarce.

Winter can be especially hard for birds to find food. There are fewer natural resources for them to eat and heavy frost and snow can make it harder to find the food that is there.

Summer can be just as difficult for birds to find food in. In summer, birds burn through energy a lot faster, especially if they are malting. They sometimes have to eat more than usual or need to eat a lot of high protein foods to keep healthy.

When Should I Feed The Birds?

Typically birds like to eat early in the morning so that is when they will be looking for food. Your bird feeder should be full at dawn so the birds will find it first thing when they are searching. If you don’t want to get up before dawn to fill your bird feeder you can fill it the night before.

Birds don’t tend to eat at night so they should still be full by the morning. However, a full bird feeder can attract other, nocturnal creatures to your garden. Rats and mice are frequent bird feeder scavengers so bear this in mind when deciding when to fill your bird feeder.

If you are worried about unwanted pest stealing your bird food, then Kenedy Wild Bird Food have bird feeders specially designed to keep other creatures out.

If you fill your feeder earlier in the morning, birds can find it when they start their daily search for food. If you refill it at the same time every day, birds will instinctively know when to come to your garden and begin to visit more frequently.

A squirrel proof bird feeder

Should I Refill My Bird Feeder?

It’s unlikely they will empty the whole thing so there should be plenty of bird food still left in for other birds to come and eat throughout the day. If your bird feeder does get emptied it’s perfectly fine to refill it if you think more birds will come by looking for food.

Just be careful you are not overfeeding the birds. Birds are animals that don’t always know when the next meal is coming and tend to eat as much as they can in one go. Birds are very resourceful creatures and will find food on their own if left to it, so don’t worry too much about being their only source of food.

What should I feed the birds?

Birds can have very varied diets that can include all sorts, from nuts to seeds to live insects. Some birds can even enjoy foods like cooked brown rice and some cat foods, but this doesn’t mean you can put just anything out for your feathered friends.

 It’s important to know that what you are feeding the birds is safe for their consumption and is prepared in a way that is hygienic and won’t make them sick or choke them.

Trying to figure out if birds can eat certain nuts or if seeds have been treated in a safe way for them can be tough and it’s difficult to tell how safe something is for a bird to eat. That’s why we recommend purchasing ready prepared bird food and bird seeds.

Kennedy Wild Bird Feed provides the best quality bird food for your garden birds. We have a range of birds foods for you to choose from depending on what is right for you and the birds you like to feed.

We have everything from protein-packed mealworms, to fatty suet balls and pellets, to our top-quality sunflower seeds for birds. We offer delicious nutritious bird food at a competitive price and offer free next day delivery.

Sunflower seeds for birds

Looking for a fun activity for your and the kids, a way to increase birds in your garden, and get a cheap supply of bird food?

Well, have you ever considered growing sunflowers?

Sunflower seeds are extremely popular with birds, good for them, and the seeds are extremely easy to produce at home. Even those with a lack of a so-called ‘green thumb’ can grow sunflowers. Their ease makes them ideal for novices and children alike.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are an icon of the summer season and quite possibly, in our humble opinion, just about one of the most cheerful flowers there are!

In a single season, a sunflower can grow to an astonishing height. This alone makes them a wondrous flower. Did you know the tallest ever sunflower was recorded in Germany in 2014 measuring in at 30ft tall!  

However, there are many different varieties of sunflower, some have multiple flower heads and stay at a reasonable 2-3ft, some grow taller and have very unusual colours such as the ‘chocolate sunflower’, and some varieties such as ‘teddy bear’ sunflowers are just plain funky!

So, if you aren’t so keen on the monstrous proportions of the giant sunflower, there are still plenty of choices and the good news is that nearly all varieties will provide food for pollinators such as bees, and sunflower seeds for birds to eat.

sunflower

Sunflowers Seeds For Birds

Sunflower seeds are a common component of many bird food mixes or can be fed on their own to birds in the garden.

Sunflower hearts are popular with birds, but they enjoy sunflower seeds in all shapes and sizes.

Read our guide to sunflower seeds for birds.

Grow Your Own Bird Food

Of course, the easiest way to provide sunflower seeds in your garden is to buy sunflower seeds online. We sell them in bulk with fast free shipping to your door.

However, if you want to have a go at providing some of your own homegrown sunflower seeds, it’s really easy and a great activity for kids.

All you need to get started is a packet of seed, water, soil and light!

Once you have purchased your chosen variety of sunflower, simply sow the seeds under the surface of the soil, put them on a warm kitchen windowsill and wait for them to germinate. This can be done anytime from April up until the beginning of June.

Sunflower seeds can be germinated outside but just watch out for slugs whilst the plants are young as they love to eat the tender seedlings.

Once your plants are big enough, plant them outside and watch them go! In the ground is better but many of the dwarf varieties are fine in pots.

Over the season you will need to water your sunflower, especially in extremely hot weather but other than that they’re very low maintenance. If your plant is in an exposed position and it gets very windy, you may want to add a bamboo cane to ensure it doesn’t topple over.

Eventually, your sunflower will produce a flower and that is where the fun begins. Once the cooler nights draw in, the sunflower will wither and start putting its energy into producing seeds. Each flower can contain up to 2000 seeds depending on the variety!

Once the seed heads become dry and the seeds feel loose, you have two options. You can either harvest the seeds and put them on your bird table (remember to save a couple to grow plants from next year!) or you can simply leave the seeds and plants in position and the birds will find the seeds themselves. If you don’t harvest the seeds fast enough you will often find the birds helping themselves anyway!

sunflower seed head

Baby birds eat the same food their parents do – in the UK, for garden type birds this means insects, bugs, and seeds.

How Garden Birds Feed Their Young

Different birds will feed their young in different ways but if we’re specifically talking about garden birds, also commonly called songbirds, they all utilise the same method.

Songbird chicks hatch completely helpless in their nests – they are unable to do anything except patiently wait to be fed by their parents. In some species, the mother and father will both feed their young, and in other species, it may be one parent.

As the goal is to keep chicks well-fed until they are old enough to fledge the nest and find their own food, bird parents have a busy old time in the spring as they must collect enough food to keep themselves going and feed their brood too. This is why you often see rather frazzled or thinner looking adult birds in the spring. Mating, nest building, egg-laying and raising chicks is a tough business!

Adult birds will collect food for their young by eating it, it is only partially digested and once the bird is ‘full’, it will return to its nest and regurgitate food for chicks. Sounds gross but it’s very effective!

As a bird must repeat this process multiple times a day, it’s easy to see why raising chicks can be so exhausting. As baby birds are completely unable to find food themselves, their parents’ survival is closely linked to their own – with no parents, chicks would simply starve.

a blue tit feeding its chick

What Do Baby Birds Eat?

As mentioned, baby birds will be fed on a diet of whatever it is their parents are eating. Naturally, this is insects and seeds/fruits. Each species will have its own particular favourite food source, for example, Blue Tits depend on caterpillars and each chick will eat up to 100 per day! This means for a nest full of ten chicks, the parent must find 1,000 caterpillars a day!

There is evidence to suggest that parent birds won’t usually take food provided by humans in bird feeders and on tables to feed their young. Instead, parents will eat this food themselves and reserve wild or natural finds for their young.

So even though baby birds won’t be visiting your garden until they are fully-fledged, it is still important to provide food at this time of year for busy, hungry parents.

Can Baby Birds eat Bird Food/Seed?

Once a chick’s feathers have grown in and it is strong enough to try and fly, the parents will encourage it to leave the nest (fledging).

This can be the most dangerous stage for baby birds as they need to learn to fly, find their own food and avoid predators – all in a very short space of time.

Some species of birds leave their young once they are fledged but some will stay together in family groups until fledglings have got the hang of being a bird! It is at this time you may notice family groups visiting your bird feeders or food tables.

Parents will bring their young to places they have previously used for food and know are safe. Once they are old enough, fledglings will then start to take bird food you provide. At the start though, it isn’t uncommon to observe fledglings sat right in a food dish ‘shouting’ for their parents to feed them! The parents will do this for a short time until the fledgling learns it must take its own food.

It is recommended you provide smaller food items as these are easier for fledglings to digest and reduce the risk of choking (whole peanuts, for example, are too big for many garden birds, let alone fledglings). Peanut granules however are ideal.

If you want to leave out a safe, healthy food for fledglings, sunflower heart chips for birds are ideal as they are provided without shell and are chipped into tiny, bitesize pieces. You can still feed peanuts to fledglings, so long as they are left out in a wire peanut feeder – this stops both fledglings and their parents from taking bites that are too large for them to handle. Although you may get a laugh watching fledglings trying to eat from a wire feeder – don’t worry though – they observe their parents and very quickly learn the ropes!

Love feeding birds but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Here are some of our top thrifty tips for bird feed on a budget.

Bird Food On A Budget

Buy In Bulk

Without a doubt, the easiest way to feed birds on a budget is by buying bird food in bulk. Although your initial outlay may be higher, it saves so much money in the long run. Supermarkets and pet shops can be expensive when it comes to bird food and if you are making routine trips to keep topping your feeders up, the costs will soon mount up!

Most of the feed we stock comes in 13kg or 25kg bags as our customers find these to be good amounts to have on hand in storage and best for value. No heaving heavy sacks of bird food around either as we offer free next day delivery on most products!

Buy General Mixes

Some people enjoy experimenting with different bird foods, adjusting quantities or varieties. This may be because they want to see more of one particular species or not attract another – birds all have varying tastes in food.

However, this can get expensive. Especially if your birds don’t like a particular type of food. If you are on a budget, you can save time and money by buying a 25kg bag of Economy Wild Bird Seed. Our economy mix includes a mixture of common and popular seeds to ensure your bird table is popular with the maximum number of species. It’s a buffet for birds!

Meal Planning  

It may seem as though birds don’t have a particular schedule, but they do like to stick to regular mealtimes. You will see increased activity around your bird feeders in the morning and around teatime.

Birds will learn what time food is provided and the amounts of food given. Once the bird food is gone, they will know they have to find the rest themselves. You can save on food, and therefore money by feeding measured amounts of food at set times.

Make Your Own

If you want to add a bit of variety to your garden birds’ diet, there are plenty of foods you can give to birds from your own table. Vegetable scraps, nuts, bacon fat, and bread are all traditional treats for birds.

You could also try your hand at making more interesting foods by incorporating some of your purchased mixed seed, plus kitchen scraps into fat balls or blocks. These materials can be bound together with molten lard and refrigerated until they set.

Block Unwanted Visitors

Bird food thieves may be costing you more than you realise! The most common culprits when it comes to pinching bird food are squirrels, rats and mice, and hedgehogs if you use a ground feeder.

There are ways to stop mammals from taking bird food by using special feeders or a squirrel baffle (you can even DIY one of these quite easy to save even more money) ensuring only your feathered friends are getting food. Also, you may want to stop larger birds such as crows, magpies and pigeons from taking more than their share of food by using a bird feeder that only allows smaller birds inside.

Prevent Spoilage

Finally, avoid wasting bird food by ensuring bird feeders are undercover or have a rain roof on them. Rain is the biggest factor when it comes to food going off so do what you can to keep food dry and fresh.

Always store excess bird food in a cool, dry place too to avoid spoilage. And avoid leaving bags or sacks open where mice could access them – store food in lidded containers or bins.

Sign Up And Save

To save some additional pennies why not sign up for our newsletter? We hold a monthly prize draw for bird food goodies and have special offers each month. Simply fill in the form below to be added to our mailing list.

Subscribe

* indicates required



Email Format

Kennedy Wild Bird Food will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@kennedywildbirdfood.co.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.

Birds appreciate food year-round as food shortages can occur at any time, according to the weather. In spring, bird behaviour is quite different as birds are moulting, searching for mates, building nests, and then later rearing young birds.

With that in mind, should you change your bird feed in the spring?

Changing Bird Feed In Spring

Everyone knows to feed birds in winter – cold weather means a shortage of natural foods, but did you know that temporary food shortages can happen at any time of the year? in the UK, spring weather can be unpredictable and have adverse effects on natural sources of bird food, especially insects such as worms and caterpillars.

So yes, although winter feeding is vital, many experts recommend feeding birds year-round to ensure there is always a food source should environmental factors impact bird feeding habits.

However, bird food should be adjusted in the spring to account for bird behaviour and what nutrition they need most at this time of year.

Because spring is a busy time, birds need protein. This is especially important when birds are moulting and preparing to lay eggs. In the wild, this is usually gained from insects, but you can assist birds by providing items such as mealworms. Robins especially love these! Mealworms can be fed dried or live – just ensure you provide a water source if you are feeding dried mealworms.

Another great high protein food, ideal for spring bird food is sunflower seeds. These are taken by most birds and are a great source of essential nutrients at this time of year.

Remember though it is always best to provide a mixture of bird feed so many species can benefit and to avoid overfeeding on a single type of food.

Are There Any Foods I Shouldn’t Feed In Spring?

Certain foods may not be suitable for spring. As the weather gets warmer fat balls can become an issue as they melt and become rancid faster. Fat balls are excellent for cold weather but don’t hold up so well in late spring and especially not in the heat of summer.

You should also avoid bird feed that doesn’t contain many nutrients like bread. Although bread can be useful at certain times of the year and is a great way to get rid of stale bread, spring is a time where birds need to access nutritious foods to rear chicks, so bread is best avoided. Buy a dedicated bird feed instead.

Do Chicks & Fledglings Eat Bird Food?

This is a question we see asked a lot – as birds build nests and go on to lay eggs and hatch chicks, you may notice birds are still taking food from feeders so might assume they are feeding this to their chicks. However, most birds will not take this type of food home to their nests – they will prioritise feeding their chicks with natural food sources such as insects and use the bird food you provide to refuel themselves.

Isn’t that clever? Although bird food is a great way to help birds with food shortages, they obviously know there is a difference between provided food and their natural diet (which in an ideal world would be the best diet for them to eat all the time)

That said, if a temporary food shortage occurs due to bad weather, birds may resort to taking food home from feeders to give to their chicks. For this reason, it is advised you don’t feed hard, large foods at this time of year. When faced with starvation, a bird will try to feed its chicks with anything it can find. This becomes an issue with large, hard foods that may cause choking.

So, to be on the safe side, provide smaller, easy to eat foods such as chopped sunflower hearts. Later in spring and summer, you may even see fledgelings and young birds coming to bird feeders with a parent to take advantage of these foods.

Peanuts for birds are an excellent source of energy and essential fats for birds. It isn’t just our feathered friends that love peanuts too – other wildlife will also be tempted to your garden by peanuts.

However, there are many myths surrounding peanuts, which may lead some people to think they’re a bad food altogether. Like any other food, peanuts should be fed in moderation and with care.

This blog covers everything you need to know about feeding birds and wildlife with peanuts.

Are Peanuts Good For Birds?

Peanuts are a very nutritious but high-fat feed for birds. This means that although they enjoy them and will gobble them up, like anything, too much of a good thing isn’t good at all.  Much like how we eat ourselves – you wouldn’t only eat ice cream, would you?

Because of their high-fat content, peanuts are best being fed in winter when birds can benefit from the extra energy boost and keep a necessary amount of body fat when natural food sources are scarce.

Which Birds Eat Peanuts?

Most bird species will eat peanuts if you make them available including great tits, blue tits, finches, starlings, house sparrow, wrens, and woodpeckers.

Feeding peanuts in moderation is sure to attract a wide variety of birds to your garden.

How To Feed Peanuts To Birds

Now for the important part of feeding peanuts for birds – selecting the right type of peanuts and putting them out for birds to eat.

It is essential that you only buy peanuts that are specifically for birds. Peanuts for birds are quite different from the ones we eat as humans which will have undergone many different processes and are often coated with flavourings, including sugar and salt.

Peanuts for birds can be purchased in different forms too, birds don’t have a preference. From peanuts in shells to split peanuts, birds love them all but some varieties are better at certain times of the year. Peanut granules, for example, are best to be fed in spring and summer as they reduce the choking risk for young birds.

The way you provide peanuts can also help reduce risk. By providing the nuts in specially made peanut feeders, birds will only be able to take smaller pieces and less ground waste is created.

If you aren’t providing peanuts in a feeder, you are better off using split peanuts or granules. Mix these with other types of bird feed to ensure birds are receiving a good variety of foods.

As with all other bird foods, peanuts can spoil, especially in wet or damp weather so never leave uneaten food out for too long or only provide small quantities when it is raining. This helps reduce any build-up of bacteria that may harm birds.

Buy Quality Peanuts For Birds

As mentioned, the peanuts we feed birds or other wildlife are not like the ones we eat. You should look to buy bird food that is specially graded for birds.

It is also important to choose your supplier carefully – cheaper peanuts may seem like a good deal but be of poor quality or even harmful to birds.

A reputable supplier will still usually offer economy grade peanuts for a cheaper option, premium peanuts for birds are usually blanched and have no skins, hence the slightly more expensive price tag.

Buying from a reputable supplier will ensure your peanuts are free from any contamination and are safe for birds.

This includes being free from aflatoxins.

Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that can grow on peanuts making them very harmful to birds.

Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food, our peanuts for birds are all certified as nil for detectable signs of aflatoxin.

Peanuts For Other Animals

There is some debate on feeding peanuts to wildlife other than birds in your garden. The fact is, most animals like peanuts and will eat them, from hedgehogs to foxes, badgers and of course, squirrels seem to go crazy for them!

Like feeding birds, you should only provide a small amount of food for other wild animals so that they consume peanuts peanuts in moderation.

Ideally, peanuts should be mixed with other foods if you want to attract badgers or squirrels. We sell readymade squirrel food if you adore your bushy-tailed friends (some find them a pest!) and also provide a mixture for badgers. Both include peanuts.

Peanuts are not toxic to hedgehogs and they enjoy eating them but again, they should only be provided in moderation as part of a specialist hedgehog mixture.

Remember to provide water for wildlife alongside any food. Birds, mammals, and insects all need water so providing a source is another way to encourage more wildlife into your garden.

How To Save On Bird Feed

It’s The Big Green Week all across the UK. The Big Green Week is a nationwide event that has over…

Feeding Garden Birds – The Myths

There are many fun facts and helpful tips you’ve probably heard when it comes to feeding the birds. A lot…

Top Five Bird Foods

Feeding the birds in your garden can be a very fun and very rewarding hobby. You are helping local wildlife…

Do Birds Need Feeding Through Summer?

As the weather gets hotter and brighter you will likely see more and more birds are visiting your garden. If…

Water For Wildlife

In summer it can be harder for wildlife to source water. All wildlife needs water for drinking and also to…

Which Birds Prefer Sunflower Seeds?

If you enjoy feeding the birds or are thinking about getting a bird feeder then you might want to look…

What Time Of Day Should You Feed Birds?

If you enjoy feeding the birds in your garden or are thinking of starting to feed garden birds, then you…

How To Grow Sunflower Seeds For Birds

Looking for a fun activity for your and the kids, a way to increase birds in your garden, and get…

What Do Baby Birds Eat?

Baby birds eat the same food their parents do – in the UK, for garden type birds this means insects,…

How Do You Feed Birds On A Budget?

Love feeding birds but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Here are some of our top thrifty tips…

Best Food For Birds In Springtime

Birds appreciate food year-round as food shortages can occur at any time, according to the weather. In spring, bird behaviour…

Are Peanuts A Good Feed For Wildlife?

Peanuts for birds are an excellent source of energy and essential fats for birds. It isn’t just our feathered friends…