• Feeding Wild Birds 03 December 2015 | View comments

  • Our native wild birds are in trouble! In recent years birds that were once common and widespread are now declining in numbers to the point many of our breeds of garden birds are now critically endangered. This is due to a number of factors including loss of habitat & use of pesticides.
    One of the ways we can dramatically help is to provide a clean, constant food source in our gardens.

    What to feed to attract certain species

    Wild bird seed mix - a good all rounder, attracts sparrows, starlings, tits, chaffinches, doves, pigeons, black birds

    Peanuts - high in fats & protein - attracts tits, finches, sparrows, starlings & siskins

    Sunflower seeds - high energy - attracts greenfinches, blue tits, coal tits, great tits, bullfinches, robins & blackbirds.

    Nyger Seed - high energy - attracts goldfinches & siskins.

    Insects - both live & dried - attracts robins, blackbirds & thrushes.

    Also much enjoyed by wild birds:
    Fat balls
    Rice (cooked)
    Fresh Coconut in shell
    Breakfast cereal
    Mild grated cheese
    Beef suet

    What not to feed

    Salted or roasted peanuts
    Cooking fat
    Dry dog/cat food
    Desiccated coconut
    Mouldy/stale food

    When to feed?

    It is best to feed year round, but birds require different nutrition during different parts of the year. During autumn and winter feeding high fat content foods are best and a fresh supply of unfrozen water is gratefully received.
    Spring and summer is baby season, avoid peanuts as these can choke baby birds instead chose high protein foods


    It's easy to forget that hygiene is really important for feeding stations, after all you'd be forgiven for assuming that it wouldn't matter for wild animals. Unfortunately feeders and bird tables that aren't regularly disinfected are a breeding ground for bacteria & disease which can spread easily from bird to bird as they congregate in a condensed area. 
    Ensure you clear away any uneaten or spoiled food and regularly disinfect with an animal safe disinfectant.

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