Choosing the right food mix to attract birds to your garden

Spring is a key time for garden birds as they enter breeding season. Supplementing their diet with energy rich and nutritious food at this time is important as they will be spending the next few weeks nest building and laying eggs.

Feeding birds is a very enjoyable thing to do and our brand-new bird care range will not only add a decorative touch to your garden but will provide avian visitors with a reassuring and safe place to feed. With so many designs of feeder to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. Here are a few points from us on what to consider when choosing for your garden:

Bird feeder considerations

Whether you're looking for a hanging bird feeder or one that sits on the ground, we have a wide variety of styles and shapes to choose from.

Birds don’t like crowded areas when feeding so make sure you position your feeder in an accessible and open area. They should be placed in open areas at least 10 feet from the nearest tree or shrub to give birds a chance to flee predators.

A ground or table bird feeder and bath such as our Three Frogs Table Bird Feeder mimics their natural water sources such as ponds, making smaller birds such as robins, blackbirds, chaffinches and wrens feel comfortable in your garden.

When choosing the material, a resin feeder will be most suitable for outdoor use all year round. Wood is susceptible to the weather and can rot easily whilst resin is durable and easier to clean and less likely to be damaged by squirrels too. Our Hedgehog and Leaf Bird Feeder Bowl is also ideal for smaller garden birds as it is only 3 inches deep in the middle, meaning the birds can access its small, smooth slope in easily to bathe and feed.

Bring an element of the British woodland to your home with our new Hanging Acorn Bird Feeder. Its enclosed mesh cage will attract a variety of bird species to your garden or balcony, whilst keeping squirrels at bay. Available in two sizes, with a loop hook to hang from a branch or wall, this feeder is a favourite for blue tits, woodpeckers, sparrows, nuthatches, starlings and other birds that cling.

It’s important that the fixing of your hanging feeder is secure at all times to take the weight of full seed and the birds themselves. Also, make sure you place feeders in a suitable location, away from areas that cats can easily reach.

We also recommend that you your bird bath and feeders regularly, to minimise the spread of disease, avoid slippery algae build-up that could cause the birds to slip, as well as reduce the numbers of unwanted visitors and pests.

What bird feed to choose?

Over recent years, there has been a dramatic decline in bird populations. By supplementary feeding throughout the year, you will help them to thrive and what you put in the feeder is the key factor to attracting birds into your garden.

Seed mixes are often found in retailers and garden centres. The carefully selected ingredients provide a balanced diet and a high-quality mix will contain sunflower seeds, peanuts, maize, millet, oats and sometime raisins. These are especially attractive to starlings, blackbirds, blue tits, house sparrow, thrushes and robins.

Sunflower hearts are the kernels of black sunflower seeds and are ideal for garden birds as they contain no husk so can be eaten quickly. They are a great value, mess-free alternative to sunflower seeds and a rich source of oil and protein. Robins, greenfinches, blackbirds, sparrows and starlings love them so fill your hung bird feeders with them and they will come flocking.

Nyger seed is ideal for birds with small, delicate beaks and are high in calories and oil. The small black seeds are great for attracting species like goldfinches, siskins and redpolls.

Peanuts are one of the most versatile foods you can feed to wild birds and they will attract a number of species to your garden and prepare for the breeding season ahead. They are best placed in a mesh feeder to avoid choking hazards and so a bird cannot take a whole nut away.

Mealworms is a fantastic protein-rich food for growing birds and are a nutritious treat for nursing mother birds. They are a food best placed in a ground level feeder as they are popular with robins, wrens, and thrushes. You can buy quality mealworms from a local pet shop or garden centre.

For a real source of energy, fat balls or suet pellets containing nuts, cereals, and sunflower seeds are a fast food for birds. The fat enables them easy access to essential nutrients and energy ready for breeding and during the winter months. Tits, sparrows, starlings and blackbirds will be grateful for these during cold snaps when fatty food sources are hard to come by.

Our garden birds need fresh water as well as food to survive. Water is a vital source for both drinking and bathing. Bathing in clean water is important element in keeping their feathers in good condition, whilst during warmer days, water can sometimes be difficult for birds to find and they need this to stay hydrated. Both our Four Birds & Leaf Bird Water Bowl and range of bird baths will provide a safe place for them to drink.

We have all you need to look after popular UK garden birds with our range of bird tables and baths. View our collection.

Feeling creative…..why not try

Caring for garden birds in the winter and make your own feeder

Make your own coloured terracotta pot birdhouse

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