Bird feeders

How to feed birds in your garden

Attract birds to your garden

If your garden plants have fruit, berries, hips, seeds and nuts, they'll be a larder for birds, particularly in late summer and autumn. The plants in your garden will also harbour birds' other natural food source - insects and other invertebrates. These are especially important during the breeding season. Supplement what is naturally available with bird food, just remember to keep them clean and in a relatively open area away from predators. 
 

Bird feeder - Ben Hall/2020VISION

Ben Hall/2020VISION

Five main types of bird food:

  • Straight seeds – as the name suggests, these seeds aren’t mixed with anything. Straight seeds include black sunflower, niger, oil seed rape, peanuts, red and white millet
  • Seed mixes – here the seeds are mixed into different blends, with the main advantage being that a greater mix of seed types attracts a greater mix of bird species
  • Husk-free seed mixes – similar to the above, the seeds in these mixes have had their husks removed and the advantage of this is twofold: much less mess to clear up and birds which can’t crack husks – e.g. Blackbirds – can also eat the mix. Some husk-free mixes also contain other foods like dried mealworms and suet pellets
  • Suet (also called fat) – this foods comes as blocks, balls and pellets. Lots of birds like suet and it provides a vital source of energy for them and particularly in the winter months
  • Live mealworms – a brilliant food to provide in the breeding and fledgling season.

Why not take a look at our illustrated guide to help you make your own bird feeders?

Provide an array of favourite foods and attract birds to your garden all year round

Remember:

Water is as important as food to most garden birds, and not just for drinking but bathing as well. So put out a bird bath along with your feeders, and always ensure the water is kept clean.