How should I feed the birds?

To ensure a rich varied birdlife in the garden it is a good idea to use different kinds of bird food in different ways to attract as many species as possible throughout the year.

You can put the food on bird tables or bird feeders all year round. Do not place food directly on the ground. The birds themselves ensure that some of the food from the bird table or bird feeders lands on the ground, where it is eaten by other birds.

However, it is a good idea to leave apples on the ground. Both blackbirds and thrushes will love you for it.

It is important that your bird feeders are compatible with the type of feed. A nut feeder is not ideal for bird seed.

If you decide to use fat balls in a bird feeder, we recommend first removing the netting. This makes it easier for the birds to eat them.

Avoid serving too much food at one time. It is better to ration one or two days’ food and then feed every day or every second day. It is also worth remembering that the food you provide is not the only source of nutrition for the birds; your garden is part of a wider system. Your neighbours probably feed the birds as well so you do not have to feel guilty about giving them a small portion, forgetting to feed them or not being able to feed them for a while.

It is a really good idea to move bird tables and bird feeders at regular intervals. By doing so you avoid unhygienic piles of old, left-over bird food. This is important for the health and well-being of the birds.

Another good idea is to regularly clean bird tables and bird feeders. Old leftovers, bird droppings and food remnants left by other birds represent a health risk for birds and should therefore be removed.

Bird tables can be cleaned with soap or a disinfectant and rinsed with boiling water. Seed feeders can be cleaned using ordinary cleaning agents and a bottlebrush. Remember to wear gloves and to wash your hands thoroughly after you have finished.

Water is essential – also for garden birds, so remember to provide water all year round – birds eat large quantities of dry feed and therefore have a great need to drink. Birds also use water to bathe in, both to keep themselves clean but also to cool themselves on hot summer days so naturally it is important that the water is clean and changed at regular intervals.