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How to feed garden birds in winter

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Fri 29 Nov 2019

How to feed garden birds in winter

As the weather gets colder, it gets harder and harder for our feathered friends to find food. With that in mind, now is a good time to start feeding them and topping up their food regularly, so they will know they can rely on the food supply in your garden throughout the leaner months.

With that said, it can be quite overwhelming walking into a garden centre and being faced with a wall of different feeders and different food, so we thought we’d put together this very basic feeding guide to start you off.

If you have a tree you can hang feeders in then brilliant, but if not you can get metal stands which push into the ground which do the same job. There are lots of different types of feeders depending on the food that go in them, and you can even get ones which are specifically designed to keep the squirrels off your nuts!

According to the RSPB:

Peanut feeders – Steel mesh. The mesh needs to be around 6mm to avoid being too small to incur beak damage, but too large allowing large pieces of peanut through.

Seed feeders – These are transparent tubes with holes in for sunflower seeds and seed mixes specifically for feeders. They’re popular with tits, siskins and greenfinches.

Nyjer seeds – These are tiny, so they need a special type of feeder. They’re especially popular with goldfinches and siskins.

It’s really important to keep feeders clean, especially any bird-table type feeders, to avoid the build-up of food. Old or mouldy food can harbour diseases, and harm the birds coming to your garden rather than helping them.

Don’t forget water!

Especially when the temperature drops below zero and their regular sources of water are frozen over, it’s important to make sure you put some out for the birds. Whether you get a designated bird bath, some hanging water trays, or even if you just fill up a plant pot base – your flying visitors will absolutely thank you for it.

For more information about different species, and what and how they like to eat, visit the RSPB website and you could help our local bird population thrive!