Bird Feeders

Birds are quite important to me in my garden, not only because I enjoy watching them and hearing their song but also because they will help keep a number of pests at bay.

At this time of year, they are beginning their nest building and egg laying process and so feeding them is just as important as it has been during the winter.

The winter months will have taken its toll on bird feeders and many will need replacing. Every naturalist will tell you not to feed only bread to birds. It does not give them the energy food they require. Of course, different birds require different food and different methods of getting it. Therefore, there are a number of bird feeders to suit different foods.

The basic birdhouse on a pole is still very popular and very useful. It is simply a tray with a roof over it and there are so many variations, you could probably have a different one for every day of the year. A variation on this is a house which hangs from a tree, or something similar. The reason for putting them on poles or hanging them is to make it difficult for predators such as cats to get to them. If you have a pole based bird feeder, them make sure it is not in a position where cats can easily jump on it.

This type of bird feeder is great but if you are trying to attract tits and finches to your garden, then you should be feeding peanuts and seeds (often sunflower seeds, but not necessarily that type.). You can buy special holders for each of these types of food and again, there are many variations on a theme. Basically though, they are tubes, in the case of seeds, it is made of plastic with holes at various points up it and perches next to the holes. For peanuts it is a wire mesh cylinder.

Apart from nuts and seeds, the other very popular type¬† of bird food is ‘fat balls’. These balls made of fat and implanted with fruit and nuts. There are also holders for these, although you can hang them up on their own. They usually come packaged in a green mesh. You should remove this before putting them out because the birds can catch their beaks in them, which can be a disaster.

Apart from buying ready made food for birds, you can, of course, make your own. One very popular thing to do is to take a half a coconut shell, make a hole in it to hang it up, then fill it with a mixture of suet and nuts and seeds. The birds will love you for it.

There are some birds, such as robins, which like to feed from the ground, so when filling your bird table, always spill a little on the ground.

Birds need to feed regularly in order to survive. If you are going to feed your birds, you should do so regularly all the year round. That way they will not waste much need energy on wasted journeys to an empty table and they will visit often, knowing there is much needed food for them.