Feeding Birds During Nesting Season

 

When Is Nesting Season?

Although there is no specifically defined season that birds nest, depending on factors such as weather conditions and bird species having an effect – the majority of birds tend to nest between March and August. The spring/summer months in the UK.

To protect birds during this period, following the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, we mustn’t disturb nesting birds.

Why?

Why shouldn’t we disturb nesting birds? It is during the nesting season that birds are at their most vulnerable. Any disturbances to their nest could cause the parent birds to abandon their nest, leaving the young at huge risk.

It is because of these disturbances that feeding birds used to be a winter activity. However, birds need help in those summer months too!

How Can We Feed Birds Without Disturbing Their Nests?

It is vital, in the nesting months that birds, particularly parents birds, maintain high energy levels. Following the breeding season, there are much more birds to feed in the UK and so birds must get the right nutrients.

To keep birds fed without disturbing the nest is important! Place the food away from their nests, that way the birds can visit their food and return it to their young. This is a simple way of ensuring that wildlife such as squirrels or other predatory bird species won’t cause harm to the nest if they also, find the food.

Offering a nest box for birds to nest in, is an easy way of distancing the nest and the food storage.

Birds flying toward nest box

What To Feed Them

It is necessary during the nesting season that we provide birds with a high energy food source, but also a food source that is acceptable for their young. Large seeds and nuts can cause the young more harm than good – they may choke.

Good food for birds in nesting season includes:

–         Sunflower seeds – including black sunflower seeds and sunflower hearts, these seeds are packed with energy and can be eaten quickly by birds.

–         Mealworms – weather conditions during nesting season might make live food hard to find. Mealworms are protein-packed.

–         Fruit – high in protein and energy, fruit, specifically raisins make a perfect addition to a seed mix for birds during nesting season.

–         Mixed bird seeds (without peanuts) – a mixture of seeds can attract a variety of visitors during nesting season so you can be sure you are pleasing different bird breeds. Avoid peanuts in your mix as these could cause choking in the younger birds.

Take into consideration during the nesting season that weather conditions can affect a bird’s ability to naturally gain its energy sources. Live food is recommended, to supplement what they may usually find in the wild.

What To Avoid

There are several ‘usual’ bird feeds that may not be appropriate for those spring and summer months. When feeding during nesting season, it is important to consider:

– Peanuts – as said before, peanuts can cause choking amongst the chicks, who during these months, are an adult bird’s priority.

Read about how to safely feed your birds peanuts here.

–         Fat Balls – although a great source of nutrients, avoid fatty foods for your birds in the summer months as they can easily go rancid. It is best to feed your birds with fat balls during the winter months.

Be sure to maintain a supply of bird food during nesting season as they face potential food shortages in the wild.

Birds eating from bird feeder

Get In Touch

Want some more advice on nesting season and what to feed your birds as we approach the summer months? Let us know!

Call: 07778 342665

Email: info@kennedywildbirdfood.co.uk 

The Robin or The Robin Red Breast as it is sometimes called is a small plump bird that is easily distinguished by its bright red plumage on the chest.

The Robin is only really seen in winter and because of this, it has become a staple of Christmas cards and decorations. We all love seeing a Robin after the first frost and many people see it as a sign that winter is here, but you might be wondering where do Robins go in summer?

Where Do Robins Go In Summer?

It depends on the Robin. There are two breeds of Robin that you are likely to see in your garden, the UK Robin, and European Robin.

The UK Robin lives in the UK all year round, but they are very territorial and rarely leave their homes and nesting areas. In winter UK Robin venture out to investigate other robins’ areas.

Winter is when Robins look for mates, when you hear robins singing in winter, it is their mating call. Mating can start as early autumn and doesn’t end until spring so don’t be surprised if you see a Robin well into spring.

Once they have found a partner, robins don’t need to sing anymore and return to their nest to nurture their offspring, this happens in summer which is why you really see them in summer.

European Robins are a little different. They are not native to the UK and instead normally live in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

These countries are usually quite cold, and some are pertinently snowy and icy all year round. These European robins thrive in these cold environments, but it can get too much for them.

Much like UK birds migrate to warm countries to avoid UK winters that are too cold for them, European Robins are doing the same thing.

Winter in these Scandinavian countries can be very harsh and can be too cold for the European Robin to survive. This is why they choose to migrate to the UK. Although UK birds find the UK winter too cold, whereas this is the perfect weather for European Robins.

When springs comes around, it becomes too hot for the European Robin and they fly back to Scandinavia when the weather is warm enough for them back home.

What is Migration and Why Do Birds Migrate?

Migration is the name given when animals such as birds make a long journey to another part of the world. There are several reasons for animals to migrate and it is often for the sake of survival.

Birds can migrate to find food or to reach mating grounds. These migrations are often triggered by the weather. Sometimes a harsh winter or cold conditions can mean the food birds normally eat aren’t available for them. If this is the case, then birds might migrate to a warmer climate to find food.

Its estimate that there are around 4000 species of birds that migrate. Whereabouts in the world a bird lives can cause migrations.

Birds that live in Europe, especially cold areas of Europe like Scandinavia will tend to migrate in winter so that can avoid harsh weather and find food in warmer climates.

In parts of the world that are near the equator or have climates that don’t fluctuate, it’s unlikely that the bird will migrate. For example, birds that live in the rainforest tend to live there all year round as food is often abundant. They may travel to another area of the rainforest for mating or nesting but it’s unlikely they will partake in long-distance migration.

How Can I Help Birds Migrating To The UK?

A lot of birds migrate to the UK, especially in winter months, like redwings, bramblings, Bewick’s and whooper swans and many kinds of ducks, geese, and wading birds.

If a bird has migrated to the UK in winter, then they are probably looking for food and respite from a much colder country. Even if the UK is still a little warmer than the country they came from, food can still be hard to find in the UK in winter.

You can help by making your garden a safe place for these migrating birds. you can leave food out for them in a safe place like on a bird feeder or atop a bird table. By placing food in these locations the birds will be safe from predators and are more likely to visit your garden if they feel safe.

Remember to always check that you are feeding birds the food that is right for them. The best way to do this is to purchase your bird food through a bird food specialist. Here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food, we have a wide variety of food to suit any bird.

All of our bird food is of the highest quality and you know that with our bird food, your feathered friends are getting all the nutrients, protein, and calories that they desperately need to survive the winter.

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
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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.