Cheaper bird food mixes often contain large quantities of low-energy fillers such as wheat and milo. It's certainly worth spending a little more to avoid these cheaper fillers. Another way to avoid them is to experiment by feeding 'straight' seeds.
These seeds don't appeal to many birds and can result in seed being wasted and discarded, which can then lead to feeding areas becoming susceptible to contamination. Pigeons and doves will, of course, feed actively on wheat; however, too much of it will see the smaller garden birds heading elsewhere to feed.
The antidote to this is to experiment with high-quality seed mixes, which offer variety in size of seed and nutrition. It's often the case that variety encourages more species of birds and allows the birds to select their favourite seed offerings.
Another common tactic employed by birders is to feed what we call 'straight' seeds. Some of these are popular with gardeners because they're 100% edible and leave little or no mess.
Here's four 'straights' you could try in your garden:
Sunflower Hearts are sensational – a high-energy seed that can be fed on their own on a bird table or placed in a tubular feeder. Taken by a wide range of garden birds you really won't find a more versatile seed.
Peanuts have been fed to garden birds for years, and they're beneficial and straightforward to feed; they are highly attractive to wild birds and are full of calories and oils. We choose our peanuts for their quality, colour and size, and although their appearance changes from time to time, we always supply quality peanuts.
Niger Seed is amongst our most popular selling products and we've been supplying it since the 1930s. Niger's known for its oil-rich properties in cage bird-keeping circles, and we were one of the first companies to pioneer feeding Niger seed to wild birds. This tiny black seed is beloved by goldfinches and will have them flocking (called a 'charm') to your garden. A word of caution though – due to the weight and size of Niger seed, it needs to be fed from a unique feeder designed to prevent the seed from falling freely to the ground. We have loads to choose from here at Haith's
Suet is another winner with garden birds. Available in a variety of shapes and flavours, not many birds will be able to resist this nutritious food source, especially birds such as siskins, wrens and blackbirds.
However, not all suet products and fat balls are created equal but rest assured ours contain high-quality fat and wholesome ingredients. Suet pellets are amongst the most popular and can be fed by just sprinkling on the ground or a bird table. Fat balls should always be given without nets, and as we sell three different types, there's plenty to choose from. To view our current range of suet goodies, follow this link