Feeding the Birds – hints and tips
Although frost and snow may be pretty for us, our garden birds have to endure these chilly nights and by feeding the birds we can give a helping hand to make sure they are receiving enough energy through their food to keep them warm. Here are a few hints and tips as to what is best for our feathered friends.
- In winter weather all birds need to eat around 40% of their body weight every day. They need as many calories as possible, so feed with the highest calorie foods possible. The best food is Sunflower seeds, either as hearts or as seed with the husks. They are quickly digested and converted into energy. Suet pellets, suet blocks and fat balls are also of the highest fat content. Peanuts are also good, but are not as efficient at converting into energy as the other choices. Peanuts can go “off” quickly when outside, so only put out a weeks supply at a time.
- Seed can be given all year round. We use a seed mix in all our tube feeders as this attracts a good variety of birds, but remember to give high calorie foods as an extra in bad weather
- Not all birds can perch on the hanging feeders, so don’t forget to provide food for the ground feeders such as blackbirds and robins. Our new bird food range includes a mealworm feast mix which is perfect for ground feeders or table feeders.
- Avoid giving bread – not only does it attract vermin, but it has little or no nutritional content for the birds. Birds can actually starve to death eating bread as it fills them up and makes them too lethargic to go hunting for nutritional foods
- Feed the birds as early in the day as possible – remember they have been huddling all night against the cold and they need a boost as early as possible to give them the energy to forage for more food.
- Feed the birds all year round as they depend on us to compensate for habitat loss. Peanuts should always be placed in a mesh feeder to avoid birds and fledglings choking on whole nuts.
- Bring birds up to your window to give you something to do and watch during lockdown. Our stick-on window feeders or high strength window hook will enable you to watch the birds up close.
- Why not get the whole family involved in spotting the birds feeding in your garden. Our garden birds species guide for just £1.25 will help you recognise some of our most regular visiting birds.
Feeding the Birds with Woodside Bird Food mixes
We are working with a company called Red Barn to produce a new range of Woodside branded bird food, and our range will include:
Woodside “Honeysuckle” Mix which contains: kibbled maize, micronized naked oats, sunflower hearts, white millet, red millet, black sunflower seeds, red dari, pinhead oatmeal, cut wheat, chopped nuts, micronised maize, raisins, hemp seed, banana chips and soya bean oil. This deluxe mix is suitable for a tube feeder or bird table, and we anticipate it will be a best seller due to the variety of ingredients in the mix to attract a wide range of garden birds.
Woodside Blue Tit Feast which contains: white dari, red dari, white millet, red millet, black rapeseed, mealworms, suet pellets and sunfllower hearts. This is suitable for a tube feeder and will attract not only blue tits, but also other small billed birds such as coal tits, great tits, long tailed tits and finches. This replaces the product we used to sell as Feeder Seed.
Woodside Robin & Blackbird Giant Mealworm Feast which contains: mealworms, giant mealworms, micronized naked oats, pinhead oatmeal, naked oats, sunflower hearts, kibbled maize, micronized wheat, raisins, chopped nuts, millet, micronized maize, hemp seed, soya bean oil, berry suet, insect suet and nut suet. This is for ground feeding or for bird tables, and is for blackbirds, robins and thrushes.
We will also be doing our own brand range of peanuts, niger seed, fat balls, mealworms, sunflower hearts, black sunflower seeds, suet pellets and suet logs, with feeders to match for each of them if required. We’ll also be stocking “flutter butter” which is a peanut butter with no salt specifically developed for wild birds, and packed with energy.
Please remember our plant centre is currently closed due to Scottish Government restrictions on trading, so all garden centre items, including Bird Care can only be sold through our “Call and Collect” service. Please phone your orders any day 10am – 4pm on 01835 830315 and have your card ready to make payment. We will then organise a suitable time for you to collect. Only phone orders can be taken, – we cannot accept email orders or by social media due to limited staff.