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Summer Feeding Guide

July 24, 2019

Your garden bird will definitely appreciate being fed in the Winter months, but what about Summer? You might be surprised to hear that it's important to keep feeding birds throughout the year. This helps them out by giving them a place to feed in the event of food shortages or changes to the landscape around you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Feeding Wild Birds In Summer

Feeding wild birds in our gardens is an enjoyable and rewarding pastime - especially at this time of year when whole families of birds will be flocking to your feeders. From the quiet ping-pong ball shaped long tailed tits, to noisy starling families.

Recent research by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) has proven what we all believed, that feeding birds is responsible for helping wild bird populations recover from loss of natural habitat and predation. The research showed that over half of all wild bird species now feed from our gardens and has been responsible for the gradual recovery of bird species such as the Goldfinch. So let’s keep the good work going.

Below we answer some of the common questions we receive in the summer months.

Should I Feed Wild Birds In The Summer?

Both the RSPB and BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) recommend feeding birds all year round. The food you provide in your garden forms an important part of a bird’s diet and with birds recorded as flying up to 5 miles to feed in gardens, continuing to feed them is important.

All birds have their own natural food - e.g. earthworms and beetles. Different weather conditions and activity in your area (e.g. building work) can drastically change how readily available these food sources are. As a result, it's important that we help wild birds by providing them with readily available food sources. It really can make a huge difference!

What Type of Food Should I Feed Wild Birds In Summer?

We would recommend offering Sunflower Hearts in your garden all year round as they are well loved by a wide variety of birds – a must in every garden.

Seed Mixes are also great at attracting a wide variety of birds into your garden due to the different seeds catering for different needs. At this time of year a No Grow, No Mess mix is essential in preventing growth and mess below your feeders.

Dried Mealworms are loved by insect-eating birds such as Robins. Live Mealworms and Waxworms are available from us but to you will need to contact us by phone on 01772 440 242 to order.

Suet/Fat Foods such as suet pellets, suet blocks and fat balls provide a rich source of energy to adult birds looking after their brood and for young birds to grow.

What Type of Food Should I Avoid Feeding Wild Birds In Summer?

Due to the potential choking hazard of large whole peanuts by juvenile birds these should not be fed directly from ground feeders or bird tables. Similarly, any hard food or food with larger chunks shouldn’t be fed. The best alternative is peanut granules which contain all the same nutrients, oils and fat as whole peanuts. You can feed peanuts if you want to, but make sure that they aren’t lose. The best way to do this is to use a good quality, mesh peanut feeder.

Suet can still be fed during the summer but be careful if you purchase some of the softer suet/fat products as the high summer temperatures can make them melt. Try to store your suet somewhere cool during these warmer months.

What Else Should I Provide For Wild Birds This Summer?

A clean reliable source of drinking water is crucial to the bird’s health and well being. Introducing a bird bath into your garden or a hanging water drinker is a great way to achieve this.

Summer is also a great time to introduce a bird table into your garden. Bird Tables are provide birds with a protected feeding platform as well as providing a 360 degree view of any potential predators.

Do I Need To Clean My Feeders?

By introducing bird feeders in your garden, you encourage different birds to converge on one spot. As a result, you’ll want to keep your garden clean and safe to prevent the build up of harmful bacteria.

Drinking Water - If you have any drinking water containers (such as bird dining stations that include a water tray) we suggest cleaning them out every day if you can, as that will help keep it clean for your birds.

Feeders - Ensure your feeders are cleaned regularly, the hot and humid temperatures make the risk of disease higher so using a suitable disinfectant and cleaning brush will help.

Feeding Stations – After a while, these can be prone to bacteria build up as a result of bird muck around the feeder. Consider using a No Mess seed mix to reduce the problem and keep the ground around your feeder clean. If you move your feeder, don’t move it too far, as it’ll take a few days for the birds to get used to the move.

Further Information

If you want any more information or feeding advice please contact our friendly customer service team, you can find our contact information here

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  1. I feed a lot of birds in my garden having to refill two large feeders daily. But all the sparrows and other small birds have not been around for the last week or so. Just the occasional blackbird comes to drink. Is this normal behaviour in summer hot weather? There has been no changes made to our normal day to day life.