Most people love watching wild garden birds in their natural habitat and have developed an interest in helping sustain the wildlife in their gardens. However, feeding garden birds the wrong foods may actually be doing them more harm than good.
Here are five ways you can do a better job taking care of the birds in your garden.
Don’t Feed Them Household Scraps
One thing bird experts agree on is that you avoid feeding garden bird’s household scraps such as bread. Doing this hurts the little guys by weighing them down and making it difficult for them to fly. As well as this, bread has been proven to fill the birds up without providing them with the nutritional value that they crave – similarly to fast food for humans!
It is common that home owners tend to feed garden birds stale and moldy bread, this can cause serious illnesses among smaller birds. Viable alternative foods are seeds like rapeseed, canary seeds and sunflower seeds.
Give Them Enough Water
Did you know that if you feed your garden birds food that is filled with salt they can develop hydration problems? This can occur if you feed bird’s salty meat, savoury foods such as chips and popcorn, peanuts, or any other food that has a high salt content.
If you are not sure, read the label on the food. A rule of thumb is that if it is too salty for you, it is for the birds as well. It is also a great idea to have a supply of fresh water available for them. Avoid giving birds milk as it can cause severe stomach upsets…which is not pleasant for them or you!
Put Bird Feeders In The Right Place
If you intend to use bird feeders it is important to put them in accessible spots in the garden such as next to bushes or hedges where smaller birds would naturally gather. Avoid putting bird feeders in a central location in the middle of your garden, which will attract pesky pigeons and magpies!
If you have tall trees surrounding your garden, hang the feeders near or in the branches so that the birds feel comfortable around familiar surroundings. The idea behind this is to decrease the ability of larger birds to scare away the smaller birds from the feeders or eat the feed themselves.
They Don’t Get The Right Nutrition
Just as with your pet dog or cat, it is crucial that your garden birds get proper nutrition in their diet to ensure they make it through the winter and can continue to lay eggs. Birds that are lacking in sufficient nutrition can suffer detrimental health problems. Be certain that what you are feeding them includes calcium, protein; energy-rich foods and plenty of vitamins to ensure both garden birds and chicks have a fighting chance.
Ideally, you want to mimic what they would typically eat in the wild if resources weren’t so competitively sought after! There are foods you can buy on the market that will fulfill all of the nutritional requirements of the birds, such as this nutritional bird food.
You Don’t Protect Your Bird Seed
If you do use feeders it is critical to keep be vigilant, especially if you live in an area that sees heavy rain or snow showers. If birdseed is left exposed to low temperatures and wet weather conditions, the bird seed can go bad and solidify therefore becoming inedible (and a nightmare to clean out).
Make sure to replace the seed frequently to prevent these things from occurring and ensuring that your garden birds have a go-to food supply in your garden all year round.