When To Feed
It is now widely recognised that feeding wild birds all year round is key to the continued survival of many native species. As natural food sources are eaten away by housing and industrial development, the provision of nutritious food throughout the year is increasingly vital for the welfare and conservation of wild and garden birds. Only with consistent support throughout the year can garden wildlife thrive. Follow these wild bird feeding tips to ensure a safe and effective feeding environment:
Wild Bird Feeding Tips
- Always maintain a continuous supply of fresh food, as birds will come to depend on the food you put out.
- Consider different foods and feeding methods. Some birds can hang from feeders while others may prefer table or ground feeding.
- Only put out as much food as will be consumed in one or two days.
- Try to supply a variety of food types, including grains, seeds, fruits and insects, so the birds can instinctively select what they need to supplement their natural diets.
- Fresh, clean water should always be available.
- Feeding stations should be located near cover. However, if there is a risk from cats, sparrow hawks, or other predators, a greater distance from cover should be allowed. If unsure, 2 metres from cover is a suggested happy medium.
- Food should be stored in a cool, dry place.
- When feeding wild birds it is important to maintain a hygienic environment.
- Ensure feeding stations are regularly cleaned with warm water and ideally a safe disinfectant.
- Remove any wet or old food as soon as possible to avoid the build up of bacteria, moulds or toxins.
- Help further reduce the risk of bacterial build up by having several feeding areas and relocating them regularly.
- Do not place feeders under branches or other popular perching places, as bird droppings may contaminate food.
- It is important to prevent food from becoming moist, as this may encourage fungal growth.
- Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling products.
- Place the nesting box in a quiet, safe place out of the reach of predators, and sheltered from the elements and direct sunlight.
- In unsheltered areas, the box should be tilted slightly forward to channel rain water away from the opening.
- The best position is fixed to a tree or wall, between 2 and 5 metres (6-16 feet) up.
- Clean nesting boxes between September and January, ready for the breeding season.
- Do not disturb the box between February and August as this is when it is most likely to be occupied.
- A close supply of nesting material will encourage birds to set up home.
Wild Bird Guide
Can you tell a Blue Tit from a Coal Tit, Song Thrush from a Sparrow? If not why don't you download our handy Nature's Feast Wild Bird Guide.