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Should I be feeding Wild Birds in Autumn?

Birds eating from a bird feeder

You should absolutely be feeding wild birds in autumn as well as winter months! Whilst some birds migrate when the weather gets colder, not all do. For those who choose to stay put, Autumn is prime time for fattening up for winter. For the birds that are migrating to warmer climes, they’ll need to stock up on plenty of energy-rich foods to sustain them over their long journey. They will really appreciate you filling your bird feeder.

Parent and child filling a wild bird feeder

So what’s good to feed your winged garden visitors? Well, at this time of year high-fat foods in the bird feeder are great. Feeding wild birds in Autumn involves giving them nutrients to build insulation keep them warm over the cold weather season. You can buy bird feed in most large supermarkets and your local garden centre, along with feeders, bird tables and the like. You can also make your own home-made feed. That could be a fun thing to do indoors with the kids when the weather is miserable outside! But don’t worry if you don’t have a dedicated bird feeder or table. You can put feed on any surface. Just be mindful of the local cats. Generally speaking, when feeding wild birds, higher is better. The best thing you can do for your local population of garden birds is to be consistent with feeding times. Birds will learn what times there is food in a location and plan their day around that! Watch what times they visit the bird feeder.

The RSPB recommends a number of different kinds of foods that may be suitable for feeding wild birds. Some species prefer some foods, other species other foods. But as a general rule, most bird seed mixes you can buy in shops are ok. The RSPB does note to avoid the following:

bird foods to avoid

If you fancy making your own bird feed at home, perhaps as a wet afternoon activity, it’s pretty easy to do with only a handful of ingredients:

Fat Ball Bird Feeder Recipe

Melt some lard and mix in a bowl with any or all of the following, nuts (plain, not roasted or salted), dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese. Use about one third lard to two thirds dry ingredients. Put in a plastic cup and straight outside or allow to the mix to solidify a little and make into a small cake shape which can be put on your bird table or inside a feeder. Easy peasy! If you’re feeling extra arty, you can even use cookie cutters to make fun shapes

Feeding wild birds is fun! If you do decide to make your own bird feed or buy shop bought for your bird feeder we’d love to see your pictures over on our Facebook Page!

Unit next week!

Jo @ ColourFence

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