Use the space in your garden wisely to help supplement the natural food banks of birds. By the time autumn comes around, birds have used up plenty of energy as they moult into winter feathers. As the temperatures drop further into winter, finding food can be hard and your garden feeders can be essential for a bird’s survival.
Here’s a quick look at the essentials you need for feeding birds in your garden as autumn draws in:
FEEDERS: Feeders made of metal last the longest and store seed securely, (a variety of styles are available at all good garden centres). You might want to add a mesh feeder for peanuts to your collection. Fill the tubes with a mix of seed, adding sunflower hearts or even niger seed if you hope to attract goldfinches. ‘No mess’ mixes are good if you don’t want the seeds to bed into and sprout on grass below feeders.
FAT BALLS AND SUET BLOCKS: high in energy, these are perfect for attracting birds from the tit families. If possible, avoid the netted balls as birds can become tangled in the plastic. It’s best to use a fat ball feeder or a bird table.
BIRD TABLES: These are great to use as a platform for food. Seeds, mealworms, (especially popular with robins), chopped up apple, cereal, bacon rind, biscuit crumbs, fat balls and even cooked potato can provide a delicious treat.
GROUND FEEDERS: Blackbirds and thrushes like nothing more than feeding on the ground. Cage feeders are available to help protect from predators like cats.
Whatever you decide to use, please make sure the bird feeders are kept clean to prevent spreading diseases and allow the seed to flow freely when approached!
Shop bought food can’t provide everything. Birds can also be attracted to plants for their seeds and berries and a wildlife area can prove these. Rowan and hawthorn produce attractive berries which birds find irresistible. Seeds from marigolds, teasles and sunflowers are a good source.
Don’t forget the water! Vital not only for birds, but also for other garden wildlife. Anything from a large saucer from a pot plant to a full scale bird bath will do.
Get the garden feeding system right and you could be the life support for families of great tit, robin, wren, goldcrest, blackbird, and blue tit. If you’re lucky, your garden could also attract long tailed tits, spotted woodpeckers, goldfinches, greenfinches and tree creepers. As we head towards the winter months, what could be better?