What to feed wild birds
There are a number of different foods that will provide great nutritional value
- Bird seed mixtures contain different seeds but the best ones include sunflower seeds, flaked maize and peanut granules – avoid ones that contain beans, dried rice or lentils which will only attract larger birds and may deter smaller birds from your garden
- Nyjer seeds, black sunflower seeds and peanuts contain lots of fats and oils so will help birds to fuel up well don’t make the mistake of using salted peanuts or dry roasted nuts, and ensure you get your bird food from a reputable dealer to avoid getting nuts high in aflatoxin
- Bird cakes or fat balls are great for birds in the winter months when they need more fat – you can make your own at home by using melted lard, oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, seeds and cheese – set until hard. If you buy these make sure you remove the mesh bags as these can damage birds
- Bird food breakfast cereal but only put out a little at a time and offer lots of drinking water nearby
- Kitchen scraps – cheese, leftover vegetables, bruised fruit and baked goods such as bread, crackers and even doughnuts are a good source of food, and if a little stale, soak in water first
- Only put out small amounts at a time and try to put scraps into hanging cage feeders to prevent pests
What not to feed wild birds
There are certain foods that you should never put out for birds
- Dry cat and dog food – this can cause a bird to choke if not soaked beforehand – this can also attract predators such as cats and larger birds
- Hard cheese is fine for birds but milk is a definite no – it can cause severe stomach upsets, and even kill them – the same goes for desiccated coconut which can swell up inside the bird’s stomach
- A lot of people think that feeding birds left over turkey fat is a good idea, but this is very bad for them
- Mouldy food should always be thrown away as some types of mould can be dangerous for birds
- Cooked porridge can harden around a bird’s beak, but uncooked oats are fine
How to feed wild birds
Bird feeding is required most during the colder months – in spring and summer there is a wealth of natural supplies.
Place your bird table or feeders in a position where it is clearly visible from the house, but also safe from predators. By ensuring your bird table is a decent height, this will keep birds safe from neighbourhood cats. Get into a routine of replenishing your bird feeders at the same time each day so that birds can know when to expect food – birds like to replenish their energy in the morning, and last thing in the afternoon to prepare for the night ahead
Which are the best bird stations to choose?
- Bird tables consist of a basic tray and sometimes a roof – make sure yours has a raised rim around the edges so that food stays in place but also a gap at each corner for water to wash away.
- Bird feeders, for either nuts or seeds – have one of each so that you can give birds choice
- Coconuts halved are great ways to feed birds
- Bird tables and feeders should be cleaned regularly to avoid a health hazard for birds, bird baths can freeze over in winter, use small floating twigs to prevent this.
So if you are lucky enough to live in an area teeming with wild-birds, and Bramhope has many beautiful gardens that provide an ideal habitat, then looking after them can provide hours of enjoyment.
Take a look at our Website, we have some properties with lovely gardens. If you are looking to sell your home or move into the area call David Phillip Estate Agents on 01134 676 400 w: davidphillip.co.uk a: 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds
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