Feed the birds

PUBLISHED: 15:59 03 December 2010 | UPDATED: 15:57 20 February 2013

Picture Courtesy of CJ Wildlife

Picture Courtesy of CJ Wildlife

The survival rate of the next generation of garden birds can be greatly increased if we support them by providing quality, high energy foods at this time of year.

The survival rate of the next generation of garden birds can be greatly increased if we support them by providing quality, high energy foods at this time of year.



With two successive poor summers and a long, harsh winter, a good breeding season will be important for many birds. Recent studies show that 11 of the 25 garden species monitored have seen their numbers fall significantly, including Robins whose numbers are reported to be 22 per cent down.



Early spring, birds are busy defending territories, pairing up and building nests. This is energetic work. By providing a high energy seed mix or sunflower hearts less energy is required in the search for food, helping them get into the best condition for successful breeding.



Once the busy parents are raising their brood, providing feeders supports the parents while they are hunting for invertebrates for their young. You might also consider providing mealworms as these are an excellent supplement for the chicks.



The benefit of putting out a quality bird food is that every mouthful makes a difference. Cheaper brands are often bulked out for weight with low grade wheat or dog biscuits.



Check the ingredients and calorie content of the products you buy. The higher the calories the more oil rich seeds or nuts are included. It's also worth putting out a mix that includes oystershell grit as this provides calcium to aid egg production.


For more information visit www.birdfood.co.uk or call Freephone 0800 731 282;

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