Feeding Wild Birds – 3 Top Tips!

Feeding Wild Birds – 3 tops tips!

Do you get wild birds in your garden or are you hoping to attract them in the future? Here are our 3 tops tips for feeding them the right type of foods and creating a healthy environment.

Feeding Wild Birds - 3 top tips!

Feeding Wild Birds – 3 top tips!

#1 What To Feed
High fat foods will provide energy and help to maintain fat reserves. Some of the options include:

  • Bird Seed Mixtures: Quality mixes have ingredients such as maize flakes, sunflower seeds and peanut granules. Blackbirds will prefer flaked maize, while tits and green finches will usually veer towards peanuts and sunflower seeds. House sparrows, finches and collared doves are more likely to prefer small seeds, such as millet. Mixes with whole nuts can be fed during the winter but is not recommended at other times of the year.
  • Black Sunflower Seeds: These have a high oil content and can be offered all year round. Sunflower hearts are a good option for creating little to no mess.
  • Peanuts: These are rich in fat and are liked by house sparrows, tits and greenfinches in particular. Robins and wrens can also be tempted by crushed or grated peanuts. Never offer salted or dry roasted peanuts.
  • Fats: Lard and beef suet are the most suitable options as far as fats are concerned. Fats from cooking are not accepted and can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Cheese: Mild, grated cheese can be offered and may attract robins, wrens and dunnocks.
  • Grains & Cereals: Plain, cooked rice can be offered. Uncooked rice is acceptable but is not likely to attract smaller wild birds. Uncooked porridge oats can also be given.
  • Live Foods: Robins and blue tits eat mealworms, and pied wagtails can be tempted via these too. If you choose to offer them, ensure that the mealworms are fresh.

#2 What Not To Feed
Wheat and barley grains will often be included in seed mixes but many wild birds will not be keen on eating them. The big exception to this is pigeons and doves, who may then discourage smaller birds from visiting the garden. Polyunsaturated margarines and vegetable oils are another big no-no, as is milk (which cannot be digested by birds).

#3 When To Feed
Ideally, try to feed twice daily – in the morning and afternoon. Once a routine has been put into place, it is important to stick to it as birds may get used to it and come to the garden at particular times in search of food.

Keeping Feeders Clean and Hygienic: Garden birds can die through lack of hygiene so it is important to keep feeding areas clean. Feeders should be cleaned on a weekly basis, while water containers should be washed and refilled daily. Feeders should be dried thoroughly before being filled up again.

Have you successfully encouraged wild birds to come to your garden? What species have you attracted to your garden? Do you have any other tips to share? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

Photo credit [Gidzy]