Providing food for birds can attract a variety of beautiful and colourful species to your garden that will be sure to fascinate adults and children alike. It also helps out birds by supplementing their diet, which is especially important in the colder winter months when natural food can be scarce.
What Food Should I Give Garden Birds?
Bird Seed Mixes A variety of bird seed mixes are available for ground feeders, bird tables and hanging feeders. They are an important food supply for many birds such as blue tits, doves and greenfinches, depending on which mix you choose. It is important to note that it is best to buy high quality bird seed mix, that do not contain fillers such as lentils and rice. Only a small group of species can eat these dry, so investing in quality will attract a wider range of birds to your garden.
Straight Bird Food Straight bird foods such as peanuts, black sunflower seeds and nyger seeds are great sources of fat for many birds. Choose sunflower hearts for no-mess and note that whole peanuts can only be eaten by larger species. For smaller birds like robins to eat peanuts they need to be broken up into small pieces, often through grating or crushing.
Suet Treats Suet treats are packed full of fat and are an excellent food to provide garden birds in the winter. Many contain essential energy and fats provided by ingredients such as lard, suet and nuts. Be sure to remove the mesh bag that fat balls often come in before putting them out in your garden for birds to feast on.
Do I Need To Provide Food For Garden Birds All Year Round?
The short answer is, yes! Providing birds with supplementary food all year round will aid them in a number of their seasonal activities. In spring it helps birds feed their young and in summer it provides extra food that birds struggle to find in the wild due to harder, dryer ground. In autumn supplementary food helps birds build up their fat supplies ready for winter, when food is scarce.
How To Store Bird Food
To keep your bird food as fresh as possible, keep it in clean and dry containers. You can buy new containers or experiement with recycling some things from your kitchen. The containers should be stored in a cool, dry place.