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A Beginner’s Guide to Feeding Garden Birds

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A Beginner’s Guide to Feeding Garden Birds

Whether you’d like to start feeding birds yourself or you’re looking for that perfect gift for a bird lover, it’s useful to know a few bird feeding basics. Here’s our beginner’s guide to feeding garden birds, covering all the kit you’ll need and a few top tips.

The Kit
There’s really very little kit you need to start feeding your garden birds. A hanging bird feeder is sure to do the trick and will attract a wide range of birds. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that not all birds can use a hanging feeder. Some birds prefer to eat seed left on the ground or on a bird table instead. Use a few feeding methods if you want to attract a wide range of birds to your garden.  

The Food
Every bird species has its own favourite food. If you’d like to attract a specific kind of bird to your garden, try to find out what they like to eat. Generally speaking, birds like to eat seeds and berries. During winter months, birds use a lot of energy staying warm so leaving out fattier food, like fat balls, is a good idea. There are also foods you should avoid, particularly during breeding season. Learn about foods that can be harmful to birds before deciding on what to provide.

Water
Birds need water as well as food. To make your garden that bit more attractive to avian visitors, provide a source of clean water and regularly replenish it. This will allow birds to take a drink and maybe even a bath.

Bird Health and Safety
Predators pose a big threat to birds. Your bird feeders should be placed away from any cover that would prove useful to a pouncing cat. Bird infections can also be a problem. Any bird feeding kit should be thoroughly cleaned, once every six months or so, to help keep disease at bay.  

When to Feed Birds
It’s important to feed birds in winter. Natural food sources can be scarce and birds often need a little helping hand to see them through the colder months. However, feeding birds all year round is recommended. Food shortages can occur at any time of year, putting bird numbers in danger. Provide a constant supply of food, adapting your bird feed with the seasons and helping your garden birds to thrive.

Now you know the basics, there’s no reason not to start feeding your garden birds today. Invest in a feeder and some seed and you’ll soon have a host of birds stopping by for some food.  

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  • Nikki Boxwild