Birds are known for their gorgeous features and plumage. Their glossy shiny features are how we identify them and sometimes how we can identify other things about them, such as their age.

Birds feathers also have other functions like keeping them warm and helping them fly. Birds shed their feathers and will grow new ones several times thought their lives.

This is called moulting, but why do birds moult and what does it mean?

skylark bird

Why Do Birds Moult?

Birds lose their feathers over time. Strenuous activities like flying, climbing trees, and hunting for food can cause feathers to rub on things and wear their feathers away. This is completely natural and something that happens to all wild birds. Sometimes things like exposure to sun, lice and other parasites can cause damage to the feathers and cause them to fall out.

When some species of birds are young they have a partial moult. This is when they lose the grey downy features that had a chick and start to grow the more distinctive feathers an adult of their species has. For example, young robins shed their brown spotted feathers and grow new red feathers in their place giving them their signature redbreast.

Some birds tend to grow a little more feathers and extra plumage in the autumn and winter months to help give them a little more insulation for the cold. They don’t need these thick feathers all year round and will shed some of them when the weather gets warmer so if you notice a lot more feathers around your bird feeder in spring and summer then don’t worry, this is natural, and the birds are fine.

Although moulting is a completely natural thing for birds and doesn’t cause them any harm, it does require a lot of energy to moult and regrow these feathers, especially whilst also hunting and scavenging for food.

robin bird singing at night

Can I Help Birds When They Are Moulting?

Moulting can be a very tiring and exhausting time for birds, and they need to be able to keep their strength up and be able to get all the protein and calories they need.

You can help by making sure all the birds in your garden have access to bird food. If you can provide these wild birds with healthy and nutritious bird food then you are helping them survive and making sure that they are getting all the necessary protein they need to grow strong, healthy feathers.

If you feed the birds in your garden, be sure to use food that is suitable for birds. A lot of foods can be dangerous or toxic to birds and might not necessarily have all the nutrients that a bird needs in them.

Kennedy Wild Bird Food has all the bird food you possibly need when it comes to feeding the birds in your garden. We specialise in making good quality bird food that has been expertly designed to have all the nutrients birds need to live happy healthy lives. Some of our high-quality bird food 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 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.