Lessons in Winter Bird Feeding

Looking after the bird life around Bunbury:

I have started to take my bird feeding a bit more seriously. Not just because of the recent cold weather but rather as a result of some lesson from a more informed friend. While positive about the location of the bird feeders near the hedge and under the oak tree, the friend was surprised at the food I was using and the type of feeders.  I had noticed a lot of waste as the birds sorted through what they liked and what was sent to the floor! Wrong food said the friend. Or rather the feed contained too much stuff that many of the birds coming to the feeders didn’t eat.

Whole wheat grain, peas, beans dried rice and lentils and an excess of millet are often used as ‘fillers’ to save on the cost of the more expensive food. Such seeds attract larger ground feeding birds such as pigeon, pheasants and doves. These seeds have value, but many small birds need a variety and they can end up on the ground. So it is important to provide the right food for the range of birds you wish to support and attract to the garden. I needed to up my game and get the right food. Of course I soon found that good quality ready mixed  is more expensive. The upside is that it contains far less ‘waste’ and therefore lasts longer.

Apparently , I also needed more than a single feeder or type of feeder. My early purchase of the inexpensive plastic feeders were already showing considerable damage. Squirrels, Large Spotted woodpeckers, and Jackdaws had smashed through the green plastic opening increasing access and sending a cascade of feed onto the ground. Since then I have found the heavy duty polycarbonate and metal constructed feeders by Gardsman  work well. My friend also pointed out that I needed different feeders for different seeds to attract different birds. So I have added specific  feeders for Sunflower seed and peanuts. During the winter I have added  suet balls with mixed seed and upped the fat content of the mixed feed.

At my friend’s next inspection I hope to get my ‘beginners’ badge’ and move on to getting more finches. Where are the finches?

Must stop now and go and fill up the feeders. No food, no birds!







By admin

Now retired from teaching. Involved in supporting the Village Day Committee, Village websites and Secretary of the Bunbury Action Group.