It’s that time of the year again. The leaves will soon start to turn brown, the moulting season begins and some birds will even start to migrate south to warmer climates. For those that do stick around, it’s important to feed them the right foods to prepare for the colder months ahead.

Look after your feathered friends during the autumnal months with our complete guide to feeding birds in autumn.

feeding birds in autumn

Should I feed birds in autumn?

You should definitely feed wild birds in autumn! Not all birds migrate, so those that are left behind will need a steady source of food to keep them healthy. For the birds that are migrating, such as the redwing or fieldfare, they’ll need to stock up on plenty of energy for their trip.

Top reasons you should feed birds in autumn

  1. Migrating birds need lots of calories to fly the thousands and thousands of miles they cover, so feeding them at the start of autumn is important.

  2. There may be migrating birds that will pass by your area, so putting out a high-energy food source will help them gather more calories during their trip.

  3. Some birds might return to your garden in spring as they’ll see it as a reliable food source.

  4. You could even attract new, winter species to your garden!

What are the best foods to feed birds in autumn?

September

In September, the birds in your garden will benefit from peanuts as part of their daily feeding. We recommend our economy grade peanuts, loved by tits, finches, starlings and many more of your favourite garden birds.

October

During the month of October, we recommend you feed the birds sunflower seeds and niger seed to provide them with lots of energy for the colder months ahead. These two much-loved seeds are also popular with finches, tits, robins and starlings!

November

Sunflower seeds are also popular with birds during November, but try putting out some live mealworms to attract even more beautiful birds to your garden. Birds that love mealworms include wrens, thrushes, dunnocks and everyone’s favourite autumn bird, the robin!

birdwatching autumn

Kennedy Wild Bird Food’s top tips for autumn feeding

Now that you’ve stocked up on the right foods to feed your feathered friends, it’s important to make sure your garden is safe for autumn feeding.

  • If you’ve had a lot of visitors to your garden during the summer months, it’s important to give your bird feeder a good clean out before the autumn season begins. This will prevent any unwanted pests from visiting your feeder and it will also help to keep the birds healthy.

  • During the end of autumn, when the weather gets chilly, natural water sources might freeze over. Put a birdbath in your garden and replace the water daily to attract even more birds to your garden.

  • Protect migrating birds from predators by making your garden a safe haven. Simple tricks like putting bird boxes in a safe place, or spacing feeders out to prevent crowds, can make a big difference.

  • Avoid cleaning up autumn leaves that have fallen. These leaves can provide shelter for wild birds and they may even be hiding fallen seeds or insects that the birds can feed on.

Now that you know what to feed birds in autumn, and when, don’t forget to log any autumn bird sightings on our Birdspotter map

We’ve also got guides on feeding birds in spring, summer and winter on our blog!