*Collaborative Post with Happy Beaks
Have you ever paid attention to how many birds you have visiting your garden? If you are lucky enough to have an established garden then it is most probably constantly bursting with life but if you are in a relatively new build, like us, you may have noticed how very few visitors you get. When we moved into our home it was only 2 years old and one thing that really stood out to me was the lack of wildlife. Having come from staying in a house in the countryside, it was part of my normal routine to hear birds cheeping first thing in the morning, waking us up, but here there was nothing apart from the odd coo from a pigeon. As the years have gone on, wildlife has finally felt safe enough to return and in the last year (10 years on from moving), we now regularly see Robins, Magpies, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Sparrows, Thrush and overhead we are now graced by an ever-increasing Red Kite community. We have also had one hedgehog sighting, a deer spotted in the street and we even have a frog living in the mud kitchen area of our garden. Wildlife finally found their way back and I am so excited about it.
To keep more birds coming, I have started to leave seeds out in both our homemade bird feeders and in pots on the wall. With it being winter, I wasn’t expecting much but we have actually encouraged more than I have ever seen before! With food being scarce at this time of year it is so important to help our little feathered friends out and when you reward them, they reward you with their presence. Here are a few of my bird feeding tips to encourage varieties all year round and if you read to the end there is a little giveaway to help you on your way.
Feeding All Year Round
Although winter feeding seems like the most beneficial time of year to feed the birds in your garden/outdoor area it is important to continue this as you’ll be giving them a better chance of survival if their food becomes scarce during other times of the year for whatever reason (big changes in weather, building work, loss of habitats). Consistency is key. Ensure that you leave food for the birds regularly and in the same spot so they keep returning and benefiting from your help.
Choosing The Right Food
Just as our bodies need a good balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates, so do birds. They find most of their food (insects, worms, slugs, snails and caterpillars) in their natural environment, but by providing a good all-round supplementary food in feeders can give them that little extra they may need.
Sunflower hearts are one such great all-round option. They contain the same high-calorie content as sunflower seeds, but without the messy husks.
Peanut Splits are rich in fat, protein and fibre, and are easy for even the smaller bird varieties to feast on such as Greenfinches and Sparrows. They are perfect for new parents who need the energy to raise their young in the warmer months and to provide the nutrition they may be lacking during the winter.
Of course, a mixed bag of seeds that is palatable for a wide variety of birds is one of the easiest options for you and the tastiest for them. This can be scattered, placed on a feeding table or in a feeder and your garden visitors can come down and choose their favourite seeds to feed on.
Where To Feed Them
There are so many bird feeder options on the market to suit every garden so what you want to take into consideration when choosing the right one for you is:
- Garden size and appropriate location
- Squirrels in the area
- Whether you have the use of trees
If you have a small garden, a large table may be too big for your space but a neater sized table like this one from Happy Beaks may be ideal. Alternatively, a wire feeder hanging from a wall or tree may be suitable. If you have cats, you’ll need to consider how you can keep the birds safe whilst feeding them and if you have squirrels, how to stop them eating everything you put out! And lastly, for hygiene reasons, you’ll want to clean up your bird feeder once a week so you will want to think about accessibility.
In order to attract more varieties to your garden and to complement the feed you are leaving out you should also consider planting bushes, vegetables, flowers etc that will be natural bird feeders. Think about adding bushes that grow berries, cabbages that will see the arrival of caterpillars, flowers to bring in more insects and also adding a water source such as a birdbath or wildlife pond to give them yet another reason to visit.
To help you out on with your bird feeding I have teamed up with Happy Beaks to bring you this wonderful giveaway worth over £50 which includes:
- Kingfisher wooden garden bird table
- HB peanut splits 12.75kg
- HB sunflower hearts 5kg
- HB Robin and Songbird no mess seed mix
All you need to do is enter here:
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