Bird Feeding Tips
A handy list of helpful hints for feeding your garden birds:
- It is important to feed your birds all year round. Weather conditions can create food shortages at any time during the year.
- When you first start putting out bird food, or when you add a new feeding station, it may take some time for your birds to approach. But be patient – once they discover this new source of food, they will keep on coming back.
- Once you have started feeding your birds, please don’t stop. They will quickly start to rely on what you put out for them.
- It helps to have multiple feeding stations but to keep the same food type at a particular feeder all the time.
- In winter when there is snow and ice on the ground, help birds by clearing the ground in sheltered places and keeping feeding stations well stocked.
- ‘Putting bread out for the birds’, is not as helpful as many people think! Bread fills up birds’ stomachs without giving them the protein and fat that they need in their diet. So, use bread sparingly – and always soak it in water first.
- Avoid chunks of dry food, such as whole peanuts or large pieces of bread. Fledglings can choke on these when the food is brought back to the nest by their parents.
- Never put out salted food for birds, including salted peanuts. Too much salt is toxic to birds.
- Never give milk to any bird.
- Regularly throw away old or sodden bird food and put out fresh supplies. This will prevent the build-up of bacteria and toxins that can harm birds.
- Store bird food in a cool, dry place. Ideally, secure in sealed container to keep out pests.
- Good hygiene around feeders and bird baths is very important. Clean feeders regularly with warm water. If necessary, use an animal-safe detergent.
- Always ensure that there is a good supply of clean water for your garden birds, for drinking and bathing. Bathing is necessary to keep birds’ feathers in tip-top condition.