Image of a dunnock sat on a branch

What Can You Feed a Wild Bird? Safe and Nutritious Options

Feeding garden birds is one of the most helpful things you can do for wildlife; however, you have to be thoughtful with your feeding.

What can you feed a wild bird is one of the most popular questions we get asked here at Haith’s.

Along with the RSPB, BTO and The Wildlife Trusts, we recommend feeding garden birds all year round. Feeding them during the coldest months and during spring/summer breeding should be considered a priority. Bill Oddie often comments that his bird feeders are busiest during June and July.
Dawn and dusk are the most important times of the day to ensure food is available, as this is when the birds are most active in their search for food.
So, what can you feed a wild bird? 
Putting out a good seed mix like Premium Wild Bird Food or Huskfree Advance will encourage most urban birds to visit your garden, as it will provide essential energy. Also remember birds need access to clean water, for drinking and bathing, even in the coldest of weather.  

Feeders and bird tables play a key role in feeding garden birds. Getting the right feeder for your bird food offerings can make the difference between success and failure. A little research will pay dividends. 
As we approach spring and ‘hopefully’ warmer temperatures, what can you feed a wild bird is an important question at this time of year too. Parent birds during these months can be desperate for food as they have to provide for themselves as well as their young.
Live mealworms are packed with moisture and protein which makes them perfect for parent birds and youngsters. They quickly attract thrushes and robins. Should you be a little squeamish about feeding live food we have dried mealworms in stock too – we recommend soaking them before feeding in the breeding season to rehydrate them. Even though they've been freeze dried they're high in calories. 

Blackbirds and robins love fruit - put out halved pieces of pears, apples, and plums and during the winter you may even attract a Redwing or Fieldfare. If you have fruit trees in the garden, leave your windfall fruit, by doing so you will provide food for birds throughout summer into autumn. 

Peanuts are one of the most popular ways to feed garden birds. They are a firm favourite of finches, tits, woodpeckers, and nuthatches and must always be free from aflatoxin so always buy from a reputable supplier. Never feed salted peanuts as your garden birds cannot process salt and may die from ingesting too much. Throughout the breeding season try not to leave whole peanuts out, place them in a wire mesh feeder instead. Peanut Granules will help attract Dunnocks and Robins. 

Image of a dunnock sat on a branch

What can you feed a wild bird has been asked by generations of avid birdwatchers but did you know that many kitchen leftovers can also be fed? Things like unsalted bacon rind, cooked rice, spare cat or dog food, leftover grated cheese and even what’s left in the bottom of your cereal box can all be left out for the birds, as long as they are finely chopped. Biscuits should always be crushed and soaked to add moisture and avoid choking birds.
Fresh coconut should be drained, cut open and put up for members of the tit family. As a bonus, once the coconut has all been eaten the remaining shell will make a great container for homemade bird treats.
Should you have any further questions like what can you feed a wild bird please call our friendly customer service team on 0800 2987054.

Written by Angela

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