Optimal Feeding of Wild Birds in Winter

Bird feeding
© GGP/Welzhofer

 


This is the time of year, after many trees and shrubs have lost their leaves, to observe birds particularly closely. They’ll be particularly numerous at a birdhouse placed next to a window or in the yard. When feeding birds, consider the animals’ varying nutritional needs and you’ll draw even more winged guests to the feeding spot.


The food preferences of most birds are usually apparent by their beak type: seedeaters such as the chaffinch and house sparrow have powerful beaks and primarily eat wild seeds, kernels, and the like. Insect eaters such as the blue tit and robin use their slim, pointed beaks to seek out bugs. Blackbirds, song thrushes, and other birds that consume berries have long, thin, strong beaks suited to picking fruits. The food you offer should be appropriate for the variety of bird and its beak type, otherwise it will remain untouched.

It makes sense to create several feeding spots around the garden. That means less stress for the birds, who won’t feel like they have to fight each other for limited food. Use mixes with different recipes suitable for insect, seed, and berry eaters, and various types of birds will gravitate to each spot, accordingly. Food that is meant to appeal to all types of birds is called a mix and contains berries, kernels, sunflower seeds, and fortified oat flakes. It’s a good idea to supplement fixed feeding spots with randomly placed suet cakes, which don’t require a bird house. When hanging these on tree limbs, make absolutely sure that they won’t become a target for predators like cats.

Submitted by: 
greenduck

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