Our local RSPB members have produced this handy guide to feeding the birds in your garden;
- 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 conenet. 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 the Feeder Seed 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. A table seed is ideal.
- 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. Avoid feeding whole peanuts in the Spring as fledglings can easily choke to death on them
- Visit the Woodside shop where we stock a large range of CJ Wildlife bird food, and a good choice of feeding accessories for all gardens. Our Observer Window Feeder is our best-seller and can be seen in action at the cafe window.
Photo kindly supplied by Sarah Emmerson