New to Bird Feeding
With more time available to enjoy your own household garden and personal space at the moment, we hope to share with you some hints and tips to help you get the most pleasure from feeding and caring for the birds that visit. .
Why feed garden birds?
More than ever connectivity with nature is mutually beneficial.
Environmental changes such as the intensification of farming, loss of natural habitat due to urbanisation, extremes in weather patterns and its impact on natural food life cycles all play a part in the decline in bird populations. Being responsible for conserving and caring for wildlife, even in our own back gardens, means giving back to the very eco-system that we rely on.
We shouldn't overlook the fact that feeding the birds isn't just good for them - we benefit as well. Lots of people get immense pleasure and satisfaction from watching the birds as they visit the feeders and bird tables. It provides relaxation and distraction from the chaotic world around us, and can be a lifeline at times of isolation. Often this is enough, but many of us go on to learn more about the birds that we see, both from our own observations and from television, books or magazines.
How do you get started?
Bird feeding can be as small or as large as you want depending on your outside space and budget. As you can see from our website we offer a vast range of bird foods and as a general rule, the more types of foods you offer and in a variety of feeders, tables or just scattered on the ground, the more species you are likely to attract. So we can start with some basic tips:
The feeding options to use depending on the type of birds you already have in your garden or those you wish to attract.
Clinging species such as Blue Tits, Great Tits, Sparrows, Woodpeckers and Goldfinch for example enjoy hanging feeders. You don’t need to have a tree for these though, hanging brackets or pole mounted systems are suitable for hanging feeders.
Ground feeding birds prefer to feed from seeds and food scattered on the ground and feel safer if within a protective guardian cage. These include Robins, Wrens, Chaffinch and Blackbirds although you will find them be adventurous and appear on feeding tables too.
There are also many types of wall mounted multi-feeders and with quality food offered will be very attractive to the above birds and more, see our handy guide here.
Recommended feeders for beginners:
Generally birds speak with their beaks and it is worth remembering quality over quantity when satisfying our hungry feathered friends.
However, some foods are more widely enjoyed than others and are excellent to get you started:
- Fat Balls - An affordable favourite with a wide range of species and can be fed in a number of ways like peanut cakes. Our ultimate recipe is particularly nutritious and enjoyed in all seasons.
- Sunflower Hearts - These have mass appeal and suitable for many types of feeder so a perfect way to get going quickly.
- Peanut Cakes - Inexpensive but highly nutritious and loved by birds, these are particularly good for the colder months. Can be chopped up and scattered too, so don’t necessarily need to be inside a feeder.
- Hi-Energy No Mess - Rich in energy and appealing to a wide range of garden birds. With no outer husks there is no waste, no mess and also no weeds: what a bonus all round!
- Mealworms - Packed full of protein and ideal for hungry, growing chicks in the spring and summer. Also adored by friendly Robins.
Recommended foods for beginners:
A few top tips:
- Start small, you don’t need to buy expensive feeders or a grand table to get to know your garden birds. Try smaller, inexpensive options to see what works and then develop your feeding areas as much as you want.
- Feed the birds in your garden all year round. Each season brings its own demands and birds will see your offerings as a reliable source when they need it most.
- Involve all the family – children are fascinated with wildlife and it can develop into a life-long enthusiasm for caring for them. So ask for their help with setting up and filling the feeder, play games to identify different birds and encourage them to look after spaces for wildlife.
- Wildlife friendly plants can provide suitable nesting sites, areas for shelter, edible berries for birds and mammals as well as flowers which will attract beneficial insects.
- As well as providing good quality food for your garden birds it is also essential to provide a regular supply of fresh drinking water. Our bird baths are ideal for this but a garden pond or even an upturned bin lid can all provide this valuable water source. It is necessary for birds to bathe regularly as clean plumage is more insulating on cold days and nights.
- Putting up nest boxes that replicate birds’ natural nesting preferences can encourage them to breed near your home and therefore enhance your connectivity with nature.
- Avoid having whole peanuts available other than in wire mesh containers during the breeding season - you can of course, provide kibbled peanuts, peanut cakes and Peanut Butter for Birds.