It's hard to find a more simple yet rewarding way of interacting with nature than bird feeding. By just investing in a feeder and some food, you can enjoy observing Britain's beautiful birds in your garden and take heart from the fact you're helping these fantastic creatures to survive and thrive.
However, simple as bird feeding is, it's still important to be aware of best practice to ensure you're not putting birds' health at risk and are making your garden attractive to as many species as possible. With this is mind, we've put together a simple list of the main bird feeding do's and don'ts - even if you're a seasoned feeder it's worth a read to make sure you're being as bird-friendly as possible!
Do buy specialist bird food - The best thing you can do for birds is to provide food that is natural and nutritious. To attract as many species as possible, put out a variety of foods that will cater for all bird tastes. From sunflower seeds to waxworms, you can find all the bird food you'll ever need in our store.
Don't put out harmful foods - Many people like to give birds a helping hand by leaving out their leftovers. This is well meaning, but you must ensure you're not putting out something that is potentially harmful. Salted food is bad for birds, as is margarine and vegetable oil, which can smear birds' feathers as well as causing digestion problems. Birds cannot digest milk and mouldy food should also be avoided. Buying specialist bird food is the best way to know you're providing a safe and healthy option.
Do think about where you put your feeder - The location of your bird feeder is important to ensure the safety of our feathered friends. Sadly, high numbers of birds are killed each year after colliding with windows; to help prevent this, feeders should ideally be placed either 30 ft away from a window or within three ft. The former reduces the chances of birds seeing windows as a potential pathway, while the latter means they will not have built up enough momentum to make a collision fatal. Feeders should also be placed out of the reach of potential predators such as cats, and shouldn't be too close to any cover they can use to conceal themselves from birds.
Don't let feeders become unhygienic - Bird feeders need to be cleaned regularly to ensure they do not become unhygienic and pose a health risk to birds. Make sure mouldy food and droppings are cleaned away quickly to prevent bacteria from building up. If you find large amounts of food are left uneaten, start putting out a smaller amount as leftover food can attract rats as well as becoming mouldy. Our hygiene products are everything you'll need to keep your feeders safe and healthy.
Do feed your birds all year round - Winter is when birds need your help most, but they will take advantage of garden feeders all year around. Indeed, it's important that birds know to associate your garden with food ahead of the winter months. This is because they need to preserve precious energy during cold weather and cannot afford to explore new areas. Even if your local birds don't visit too often in the spring and summer, leaving food out will ensure they know it is the place to come to when winter strikes.