Thursday, 6 March 2014

Britain Loves Garden Birds

Britain loves its garden birds. We love them so much in fact that there is a Royal Society set up for their protection. However, this isn't anyone trying to save the Dodo or a major environmental project like the successful re-introduction of Red Kite's to Scotland. This is people coming together to protect and enjoy the ordinary garden birds that flitter and flutter to and fro in our gardens, a society of which this humble blogger has been a member, since he was just a wee lad. In fact from my desk here at Flyte So Fancy HQ I have the perfect view of one of our feed stations for watching the murmurations of the sparrows, finches et al, as they stop off for a snack.

Flyte so Fancy Peanut Feeders
Peanut Feeders
But all this activity and flying is hungry work, so its important to keep an eye on what sort of treats and feeds you provide as lunch for the garden birds. As with nest boxes, different feeds will attract different birds.


Personally I love peanuts and so do garden birds, although luckily for both species they are slightly different (don't go giving the birds salted or dry roasted). Peanuts are great to give to the birds during the winter, like robins, when feed is scarce and being high in protein offer a great pick me up. They should always be put into a peanut feeder though, as if distributed loose, small or greedy birds and chicks can choke on whole nuts. Also make sure you only buy Alfatoxin free peanuts, otherwise they can kill the birds.

Nyger Seed;

This thistle seed is a favourite with lots of bird breeds as it is an oil and energy rich feed, it is in particular a magnet for goldfinches and siskins. A feeder with small holes will cut down on wastage, but birds will flock from all around to get at these delicious seeds.

Sunflower Hearts;

Sunflower Hearts are loved by many garden birds, especially sparrows, tits and even some larger wild birds too, they are helpful to humans (avid gardeners especially) as they don't leave a mess of discarded husks all over the lawn. They can also be used in feeders, spread on the bird table, or just scattered on the floor for ground feeders.

All round bird seed mixes are great at providing a little bit of everything that wild birds will need to keep them happy. Lastly, if the birds in your garden are getting a little bit lazy and you fancy giving them a treat, nothing will get them singing your praises in the dawn chorus, like a handful of mealworms liberally cast in all directions.

Peanuts for Garden Birds from Flyte so Fancy
Woodpecker eating Peanuts
A few Top Tips:

  1. At this time of year feed perhaps once or twice a day and always make sure fresh clean water is available. 
  2. High energy fat foods like suet and fatballs are great when it is cold. 
  3. Always feed to demand. Take away soggy or uneaten feed and don't allow stale or uneven feed to accumulate in the feeders. 

Whenever I attempt to take a picture of the garden birds I can see from my window, especially the hoard of sparrows that regularly descend upon our seed feeders, they are usually three fields over before I have even raised the camera. That being said, sitting here at my desk in the FSF office, there are few things more enjoyable throughout my day, than watching these little birds industrially go about the business of lunch.

Thanks for Reading

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