Feeding Your Garden Birds

Here in Cannock us gardeners are have a rest but there is a hard frost today and the next few days look like being the same, so what about the birds?

Providing food for birds is one of the most helpful things you can do for your garden visitors, so long as you are thoughtful with your feeding.

The RSPB and the British Trust for Ornithology both suggest feeding birds all year round.

However, it is suggested that feeding birds during the colder months should be a priority.

Dawn and dusk are the key times of day to ensure there is food available, especially during these colder months.

Additional feeding can be done throughout the year but is particularly important in winter and spring.

Parent birds will be in desperate need of food in spring, when they have to provide for their young as well as themselves.

Winter is the hardest time of year for all our wildlife to survive due to lack of food. Fat balls [seeds mixed with fat] will be welcome by your garden friends and are readily available to buy.

Some come in a nylon mesh bag but always remove these because birds get their claws caught in the mesh, causing injury and potentially trapping them.

As a cheaper option you can make your own. Pop seeds and dry mealworms into your fat feeder mix to add protein and carbohydrate.

Never use polyunsaturated fat or butter as these can cling onto birds' feathers.

Only use these in the winter as warmer temperatures will melt the fat, causing it to go off.

You could also put out some finely chopped unsalted bacon rind or grated hard cheese to provide energy-rich fat for your birds.

Other food stuffs to consider are: peanuts, fruit, sunflower seeds and leftover biscuits. Also don't forget to provide water for them to drink, and to unfreeze it on a frosty day.