WILD BIRD FEEDING GUIDE
Why to feed?
Feeding wild birds will increase the varieties that visit your garden and greatly improve their survival rates during harsh conditions. It also enhances their success rates during the breeding season.
When to feed?
It is recommended that wild birds are fed all year round. However it is particularly important during autumn, winter and spring when naturally occurring foods are in short supply. Ensure feed is available first thing in the morning, this help them replace energy lost through the night, and again at mid afternoon to help them to build up some reserves as night falls.
How to feed?
Use a wide range of foods, including seed blends, peanuts and high energy feeds such as sunflower hearts, mealworm, thistle/nyjer seed and suets/fat snax. This will attract a wide variety of birds to your garden.
It is strongly recommended that peanuts are fed from wire mesh type feeders. This ensures that birds can only consume small bite sized pieces pecked through the mesh. Whole peanuts can present a choking hazard to young birds. If loose feeding peanuts they should be crushed into small pieces. Under no circumstances should whole peanut be loose fed between April and September.
Seed and seed mixed can be fed loose (on the ground or bird table) or from a seed feeder. Different species have different feeding habits, try both and see which birds visit your garden!
When loose feeding only put out enough for the birds so that it is eaten in one day. This will keep food fresh and minimize the risk of attracting vermin. When using either method, try to ensure that the feed or feeder is safety sited away from cover where predators such as cats can hide. Many birds are lost each year to them so please try to help minimize the fatalities.
Clean fresh water is also an important ingredient for wild bird survival, especially in freezing conditions. Try and ensure that there is a constant, clean and plentiful supply for drinking and bathing.
it is important to maintain a hygienic environment when feeding wild birds to prevent occurring the diseases
only put sufficient food out on bird table or on the ground so it doesn’t go off
keep your feeders, bird tables and bird baths clean – wash them regularly with warm water with a mild disinfectant
brush and scrape droppings from bird tables before adding fresh food
do not keep your feeders and bird tables at the same place all the time – try to relocate them regularly to avoid a build up of unhygienic deposits
when ground feeding do not place feed in the same place everyday
store all your wild bird feed in a cool dry place
wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling wild bird products
Having a nest box for birds in your garden will provide a place for them to roost and breed. Different nest boxes attract different species. Kee’s garden Centre offers open fronted boxes to attract Robins and Wrens and ones with entrance holes which are great most of the wild birds from tits and sparrows to Nuthatches and Pied Flycatchers.
Place the nesting box in a quiet, safe place out of the reach of predators, and sheltered from the elements and direct sunlight.
In unsheltered areas, the box should be tilted slightly forward to channel rain water away from the opening.
The best position is fixed to a tree or wall, between 2 and 5 metres (6-16 feet) up.
Clean nesting boxes during September when they become deserted so you’ll have them ready for roosting season for winter, and clean them again in January to make them clean for the breeding season in spring.
Do not disturb the box between February and August as this is when it is most likely to be occupied.
A close supply of nesting material will encourage birds to set up home.