06 December 2017 - Updated 26 April 2018

Wild Birds: Feed and Nesting Boxes

Wild Birds Feed and Nesting

Nothing awakens the feeling of spring in a garden more than cheerful bird song. As snow and ice begins to melt, birds once again have a reason to sing, with the harsh winter over and difficult foraging a thing of the past. Most bird lovers begin slowly but surely to dismantle the birdhouses in their gardens – but wait! Even in the warmer months, we can be of vital assistance in helping our feathered friends find food.

What is meant by year-round feeding?

In the past, birds were only offered food and nesting boxes when the weather grew cold and frost was a certainty, but this thinking needs to be modernised. Conservationists and bird experts are in agreement that winter feeding should start in October and continue all the way through until May. This is to allow birds the time to find a suitable feeding place and to settle in properly before the cold arrives. You should also begin hanging nesting boxes fairly early on, ensuring that wild birds can find protection against unpleasant winter weather. Even in the warm months, you can support the birds in your garden by helping them to find food, which can be particularly vital during breeding season for keeping young well fed.

Which food is suitable?

In autumn and winter, you should provide birds with food that is rich in fat and energy. Fat balls are an ideal choice, containing energy sources such as sunflower seeds. May to September is the breeding season for birds, so choose a special summer food during this time. This can include simple garden bird food containing berries and animal protein from dried insects. There are also plenty of supplementary foods with cereal flakes and minerals to help with rearing young. All of this helps to compensate for any food shortages the wild birds may come across and increases chances of young birds surviving. You could offer this food inside an aviary, which also offers shelter to the wild birds.

Is there anything to look out for when buying bird feed?

Many birdseed mixes contain ragweed seeds, a North American plant that is becoming ever more present in Europe. However, many people are allergic to the ragweed pollen, which is known as the “asthma plant” and can often result in skin reactions. Make sure that any food you buy is labelled as “ragweed controlled”.

In the zooplus shop you will find a great range of bird feeding and nesting products to support wild birds all year round!

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