Don’t forget our feathered friends this winter!
WIld bird feeding is good to do all year round. There may be shortages of different food sources at different times of year. However, they particularly benefit in Winter when food can particularly hard to come by and when the weather can be very stormy here in Guernsey.
In recent months, we’ve spent a lot of time extending and refining our range of bird food and feeders to give you an excellent selection for wild bird feeding at competitive prices.
So why not set up your own “Bird Café”… Here’s how..
Setting Up Your “Bird Café”
(adapted from RSPB website)
What to feed
Different birds prefer different foods; this can vary by season and your location on the island. So when wild bird feeding, try different types of food from our range and adapt to what works best in your garden.
What not to feed
Importantly, there are some foods you should never put out. Avoid all salted foods as they dehydrate birds. Never put out loose peanuts, dry, hard foods or large chunks of bread during the spring or summer months. Parent birds might take these back to their nests and their young can choke on it.
How to feed
For wild bird feeding it’s good to invest in quality feeders and roofed bird tables, which will keep food dry and stop it going off. As a good start, try:
- a hanging plastic feeder with feeding ports and perches for sunflower hearts for (mainly) finches, tits and sparrows
- a hanging mesh feeder with peanuts for (mainly) tits
- a hanging mesh feeder with fat balls for (mainly) tits and sparrows.
The next step up is a nyger seed feeder for goldfinches (although they love sunflower hearts too), a ground feeder or bird table with an oat/fruit/fatty nibbles mix for robins and blackbirds.
Where to feed
Place the feeders high enough so they are out of reach of ground predators like cats. They should be a couple of metres away from thick cover like bushes, so that small birds can beat a hasty retreat from aerial predators such as sparrowhawks.
If you don’t get any visitors, try a different location.
Move the feeders to different locations over the course of a year so that you don’t get a build-up of debris underneath.
Keeping it healthy
- Make sure the foods are kept in rodent-proof storage bins
- Clean your feeders. Unhygienic feeding stations can quickly transmit diseases between birds, so clean your feeders and bird tables regularly. Wash them down with a mild disinfectant and hot water, rinsing them fully and drying them out before filling them back up with food
- Clear up under your feeders – you don’t want a problem with rodents at night.