Sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, great tits, robins, doves, greenfinches and blue tits are the wild birds you are most likely to see in your garden in the UK. If you would like to attract any particular species you can encourage them to visit your garden by providing their favorite food.
Some wild birds, including thrushes and chaffinches are more likely to search beneath bird tables for food. If your garden borders on woods you may have woodpeckers, marsh tits, coal tits and nuthatches visiting your bird feeders. Wild birds belonging to the thrush species such as fieldfares, mistle thrushes, song thrushes and redwings love fruits and berries so add these to your bird table to attract them.
Some wild birds, such as treecreepers and wrens are insect feeders so will not be interested in the foods you provide on your bird table or feeder. To attract these birds let an area of your garden grow wild with native plants and flowers. These will then attract the insects that are insect eating birds food.
Attracting Finches To Your Garden
Many people love to see finches in their gardens and it is easy to attract these lovely birds if you provide their favorite food. Finches love thistle seeds which are best placed in a specialized thistle feeder. The seeds are tiny and thistle feeders enclose the seeds in a mesh which finches, with their long beaks, can easily reach through.
These types of feeder also prevent the tiny seeds from dropping to the ground which would be a problem if you placed thistle seeds in a conventional feeder designed for larger seeds. Seeds spilled ion the ground will also attract predators such as squirrels. Commercially prepared thistle seeds have been treated to prevent germination. You could also put out some sunflower or millet seeds on your bird table as finches also enjoy these.
Provide Fresh Water for The Birds
You can also attract wild birds by giving them a source of fresh water or bathing and drinking. This can be as simple as a shallow pan of water on the ground but make sure you replace it regularly. A bird bath is an attractive alternative and if you incorporate a dripper or other means to agitate the water the sound will attract the birds. This is particularly valuable in the winter months when water can be a problem for the birds.
If you place a small heater or agitator in the bird bath to keep it ice free the birds will have a source of fresh water all year round. Place the bird bath in a quiet area of the garden away from your bird feeders as wild birds need quiet when they bath. They also prefer a place underneath branches or other perches for a quick escape route from any lurking cats or other predators.
Feeding Wild Birds in Throughout the Year
Wild birds require different nutrients depending on the season. In the winter feeding is especially helpful as natural food sources may be scarce. They need high energy foods during this time with high fat content. Feed them twice a day and remove any uneaten food regularly.
In the spring and summer they will need high protein foods such as raisins, seeds, mealworms, sunflower seeds etc. You can also buy specially prepared summer mixes for insect eating wild birds. Fruit can also be put out for the fruit loving birds. They will enjoy chopped up apples and pears, grapes and bananas.
During the summer do not put out fat, bread or peanuts as they can be taken back to the nest and harm the baby birds. Home made fat balls are also a bad idea in the hotter months as they will become rancid very quickly.
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