Bird feeders for your garden

Bird feeders for your garden

Bird feeders for your garden

What food can you leave out for birds?
How can you keep your feeding station hygenic and pest free?
Providing birds with supplementary food will bring them closer for you to marvel at their fascinating behaviour and wonderful colours.
Feeding birds is also an ideal way to enthuse children about wildlife.

Supplementary feeding cannot provide all the natural proteins and vitamins that adult and young birds need.   It is therefore important to create and manage your garden to provide a source of natural foods as well,   through well-managed lawns, shrubs and flowerbeds.

Your garden will be visited year round by many different birds,  if you provide both natural and supplementary foods for them.  Thus the need for bird feeders for your garden.  This will definitely create your garden into a wildlife haven.

It is important to feed your garden birds responsibly and safely.  By following a few simple guidelines,   you can play a valuable role in helping  your local birds overcome periods of natural food shortage,  survive periods of severe winter weather and come into good breeding condition in the spring.

The best type of food to provide

Bird seed mixtures 

There are different mixes for feeders and for bird tables and also for  ground feeding.   The better mixtures contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules.

Small seeds,  such as millet,  attract mostly house sparrows,  dunnocks,  finches, reed buntings and collared doves. Flaked maize is taken readily by blackbirds.   Tits and greenfinches prefer peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Mixes that contain chunks or whole nuts are suitable for winter feeding only.

Pinhead oatmeal is excellent for many birds.   Wheat and barley grains are often included in seed mixtures, but they are really only suitable for pigeons,  doves and pheasants.   These big birds feed on the ground and rapidly increase in numbers,  frequently deterring the smaller species.

Black sunflower seeds

These are an excellent year-round food,  and in many areas are even more popular than peanuts.  The oil content is higher in the black ones than in the striped ones.   Therefore they are so much better.   Sunflower hearts (the husked kernels) are a popular no-mess food.

Nyjer seeds

These are small and black with a high oil content.  They need a special type of seed feeder.   They are particular favourites with goldfinches and siskins.


These are rich in fat and are popular with tits,  greenfinches,  house sparrows,  nuthatches,  great spotted woodpeckers and siskins.  Crushed or grated nuts attract robins,  dunnocks and even wrens.   Salted or dry roasted peanuts should not be used.   Peanuts can be high in a natural toxin, which can kill birds,  so buy from a reputable dealer.

Bird cake and food bars

Fat balls and other fat-based food bars are excellent winter food.  If they are sold in nylon mesh bags,  always remove the bag before putting the fat ball out,  as the soft mesh can trap and injure birds.

Live foods and other insect foods

Mealworms are relished by robins and blue tits,  and may attract other insect-eating birds such as pied wagtails.
Wax worms are excellent,  although expensive.   Foods for insect-eating birds,  such as ant pupae,  insectivorous and softbill food,  are available from bird food suppliers and pet shops.  Insect food appropriately offered can attract treecreepers and wrens.

Seeds to avoid

Avoid seed mixtures that have split peas , beans, dried rice or lentils,  as again,  only the large species can eat them dry.  These are added to some cheaper seed mixes to bulk them up.   Any mixture containing green or pink lumps should also be avoided as these are dog biscuit,  which can only be eaten when soaked.

Enjoy feeding and watching the birds.


Bird feeders for your garden




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