What can I give garden birds?
- Fatballs- these are perfect for providing protein and carbohydrates. You can even make your own by melting lard and pouring it onto a mixture of nuts, seeds, fruit and oatmeal. The mixture should have two-thirds ingredients to one-third of lard.
- Peanuts – do not use dry roasted or salted peanuts as they can be harmful to birds. Peanuts sold for birds are rich in fat and high in protein.
- Sunflower Seeds- these are rich in protein and unsaturated fats. Black sunflower seeds are better than striped as they have a higher oil content.
When should I put out food for the birds?
- The best time is during the winter months between November to March as resources such as food and water are particularly scarce and hard for birds to find during the shorter, colder days.
- Place feeders within a metre or two from a tree or hedge, as open spaces tend to intimidate birds as they are vulnerable to predators such as the sparrowhawk.
- If you have water left out for birds, it’s important to clean dishes as they can gather bacteria.
- Remember to change the location of your feeders from time to time to avoid a build-up of droppings
- To avoid unwelcome rodent visitors taking advantage of bird food, a good idea is to use bird tables where the food is out of reach from the ground or place a plate underneath bird feeders to catch any falling food.
Take part in Birdwatch Ireland’s annual garden bird survey…