Depending on your outside space and budget, feeding the birds in your garden can be as big or as small a project as you would like it to be. Whether you’re looking to give a new area of sanctuary for garden birds, want to teach a younger generation to love the natural world, or simply desire a new distraction, you can have instant pleasure watching and caring for visiting birds in your garden.
Feeding the birds can be as simple as putting a feeder with some food in your garden and waiting for the birds to find it. But, with the smallest bit of know how you can turn your garden into a hotspot for the local wildlife.
1. Check your garden!
Which birds are already calling your garden home? A good starting point is to make sure that the ones already here have got a nice supply of food - make a note of the ones you can see and then…
2. Choose your feeder
In general all birds like one of two different types of feeder.
Ground feeding birds, like Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens, Chaffinch and Dunnocks prefer to rummage on flat areas, so will use a ground feeder and a feeding table.
Whilst the needs of the birds is the most important aspect in our designs, we understand that you need to love it too. So we’ve got lots of feeders, in many shapes and sizes, so you can find something that works in your garden, for your garden birds. See our full range, all available to buy here, but if you’d like more information before you make a choice, take a look at our feeder guide.
3. Find their favourite food
Birds speak with their beaks and you’ll soon know if what you’ve put out is to their satisfaction! Lots of our feeders come with recommended foods for you to get started with, but our 3 Top Tips to get started would be:
- Quality Fat Balls - affordable favourite, which can be fed in a number of ways. Try the Ultimate recipe which is particularly nutritious and delicious - we’ve been told. Our fat balls are never netted.
- Hi-Energy No mess - a great all-round seed for any feeder. Hi-Energy No Mess has been developed by our CJ Wildlife brand over 30 years ago and it has become a firm favourite of birds across Europe. Plus there are no husks, so no waste, no weeds, meaning less gardening!
- Peanut Cakes - homemade from our farm in Shropshire, our peanut cakes are particularly good in the winter months as they’re full of goodness. As well as putting in peanut cake feeders, you can also chop them up and scatter them around the garden, to give an extra treat to any passing Robins.
Never provide fat balls with netting around them - they are usually low quality fat balls and can cause fatal trapping hazards to the birds.
4. Keep things clean and topped up
Once the birds have found your food, do keep the feeders topped up to keep them coming back. If the food runs out they may find new places and food sources and it might take a while for them to return to your feeders. From time to time give the feeders a quick clean, including any perches, and any old food in the feeder is knocked out and replaced with fresh. If you can, provide a source of fresh clean water too.
5. Don’t panic!
Birds are naturally suspicious of new things and it could take a while for them to start to trust that your new feeder isn’t going to pounce. So be patient, you can always try a different position in the garden to see which works the best. If you’re using a pole feeder place it near a hedge, or easy get away space.