Hear From our Experts > Wild Bird

How to feed your wild birds

Published 18th August 2018
Estimated 3 minute read time.

·         Know your birds - different species eat different things so make sure you have the right food on your "menu”

o   Sparrows and finches like seeds such as WCF Pet & Equestrian Wild Bird Seed;

o   Garden tits like fat such as fat balls or suet blocks/pellets

o   Thrushes and robins like fruit and worms such as our suet cakes from Peckish and Petface

·      Save your leftovers - fruit cake, dried fruit, unsalted nuts or over-ripe fruit such as apples and pears are all garden favourites. Avoid anything mouldy or too salty. Kitchen scraps make great fat cakes

·         Never feed wild birds raw meat and vegetables which they find difficult to digest

·       Put out the right amount of food to avoid unwanted visitors like rats and to prevent food going mouldy. If the food takes a few days to clear from your bird table or the ground then reduce the amount of food offered so it does not go off

·         Use a bird table for putting out kitchen scraps, mild cheese, fruit and non-salty bacon

·         If you feed birds bread try and keep it moist

·   Hang specialist bird feeders from brands such as Peckish and Chapel Wood filled with black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, wild bird seed, nyger seed, sunflower-rich mixes and unsalted peanuts

o   Nut feeders are made of steel mesh, and are the only safe method of offering nuts to wild birds. The mesh size needs to be large enough to prevent beak damage and small enough to prevent large pieces of nut from being removed

o   Seed feeders are tubular transparent containers with holes, through which birds are able to access the seed. These are designed for sunflower seeds and seed mixes

o   Nyger seed is smaller and needs a special type of seed feeder. They are particularly popular with goldfinches and siskins

o   Home-made devices - Half-coconuts and tit bells filled with fat, bird cake, etc can be hung from your bird table, a tree or from a bracket on a wall

·     Use a feeding tray to place food on the ground so it can be cleaned or moved at night; rats will be attracted to leftover food and can carry disease

·        Place your feeders and bird table no more than 2 metres from a shrub, fence or tree so the birds have somewhere to escape to if threatened by predators

·         Move feed stations to a new area every month to prevent droppings accumulating underneath

·     Keep your bird feeders and bird tables clean from mouldy or old food and droppings to prevent the spread of diseases

·    Clean and wash your bird table and hanging feeders regularly (ideally, using a 5% disinfectant solution such as Superfine). Don't bring your feeders into your house to clean them - do it outside, using separate utensils

·         Wear gloves when cleaning feeders and bird tables and wash your hands after feeding the birds

·         Put out a fresh supply of water every day and rinse out water containers daily

 

·         Keep water in bird baths and ponds unfrozen

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