Wild birds aren’t typically seen as pets, but we could consider them as such, if they regularly come to our house to feed. Providing food birds could contribute to the longevity of wild birds in our environment. However, there are some simple rules to consider before we feed wild birds. It is important to consider that wild birds will see our garden as a natural source of nourishment when we begin to provide some food. Birds usually feed in early morning and later in the afternoon. Bird feeding could become more important during the winter, because they could lack alternative sources of food in those cold months. It is also important to provide extra feeding at specific time of the year, especially in early spring during the breeding season and when parents are on the hunt to feed their brood.
There are multiple feeders we could choose and they may depend on the type of bird species we want to attract. More common bird species could be attracted by standard mixed feed placed on a bird table. Smaller birds prefer feeders that they can cling onto. Specialized feeders can be used to attract more wild birds and finches. With windows feeder, we can get closer to feeding wild birds. Feeders are available in different models. Some of them can be ideal for specific bird species, so we can watch their individual traits.
For any wild animal, including birds, winter is the most challenging time of the year. They need to deal with extreme cold, sources of food become much more limited and there are only short days for foraging. During this time, it is a good idea to provide calorie-laden, fatty feeds for wild birds. It is possible to purchase fat balls in bulk, which allow us to feed a large number of birds each day. We can bulk out our typical bird feed with more affordable fillers, such as dried mealworms, uncooked oats, peanut granules and suet pellets. Another way to reduce costs is by offering our daily leftovers. We could shred or crush fruits, biscuits, cereal, cheese and unsalted bacon to smaller pieces. However, we should avoid adding fats or cooked meats, because they may clog feathers.
In general, it is important to think long term and make our garden a permanent haven for local wild bird flocks. In this case, we could plant many bird-friendly plants around our house that can provide a feast of seeds, fruits and plump berries. There are many different feeds available in the market. Basic feed or seed mix should be consisted of nutrient-rich grains and seeds. We can combine these seeds with typical fillers to provide alternatives and additional sources of nutrients. Common feeds like peanuts are ideal for birds. They are packed with energy and rich in healthy oil. However, we should crush peanuts to feed smaller birds. Some birds like Blackbirds, Thrushes and Robins are ground feeders, so we should offer alternative feeding locations for them in our garden.