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When to feed garden birds

30/01/2020 - Bird & Wildlife

Although winter feeding benefits birds most, food shortages can occur at any time of the year. By feeding all year round, you'll give them a better chance to survive food shortages whenever they may occur.

At this time of year, put out food and water on a regular basis. In severe weather, feed twice daily if you can: in the morning and in the early afternoon.

Birds require high-energy (high-fat) foods during the cold winter weather to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights. Use only good-quality food and scraps.

Always adjust the quantity given to the demand, and never allow uneaten foods to accumulate around the feeders. Once you establish a feeding routine, try not to change it as the birds will become used to it and time their visits to your garden accordingly. If you would like to attract and feed birds in your own garden then click here to browse our "Bird and Wildlife" section.

Natural food shortages

If food shortages occur when birds have young in the nest they may be tempted by easy food put on bird tables to make up the shortfall in natural food, initially to feed themselves, but if the situation gets bad enough, they will also take the food to the nest.

If the food offered on your bird table isn't suitable for the young chicks, it can do more harm than good, and can even be lethal to the chicks as they can choke on the food. It can be difficult for a human to gauge when food shortage in the wild occurs, and hence it is best not to put out food that is likely to create problems during the breeding season.

Therefore, never put out loose peanuts, dry hard foods, large chunks of bread, or fats during the spring or summer months.


This article was published by RSPB and can be found on their website https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/how-you-can-help-birds/feeding-birds/when-to-feed-garden-birds/


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