Feed the birds this winter!

Posted on: 08 November 2011 by Alexander Hay

Winter is a tough time for native species of birds, here's our guide to for keeping the sparrows, blackbirds and tits happy.

Give him Naked Oats. It would be a 'tweet'!So naturally, it's time to stock up the bird feeder so the feathery little blighters don't get angry and start attacking green pigs. But birds are fussy creatures and certain species of birds prefer certain kinds of seeds over others. What to do?

As part of this year's 'Feed The Birds Day,' bird feed manufacturers Nature's Feast decided to do some tests, setting up feeding stations at 10 farms and taking note about which fluttering fellow ate what and when. Most of the 10 varieties of seed used are also grown as crops but are often underused in bird food.

So what did the study reveal?

And what seeds were the most popular?

  • Tree Sparrows really like White Millet, but are least keen on Red Dari, Quinoa and Naked Oats.

  • Greenfinches prefer hemp, and avoid Quinoa, Wheat and Red Dari.

  • Blue Ties, Chaffinches and Great Tits love Black Sunflower seeds, but have little interest in Triticale and Quinoa. Unlike Tits, the Chaffinch also quite likes Linseed.

  • While Robins just can't get enough of Naked Oats, they have little time for other seeds, but may choose Canary, Red Dari and White Millet. However, they will avoid Hemp at all costs.

What does this mean for feeding the birds over this winter? Firstly, KNOW YOUR BIRDS. Identify the species that live in your garden and work out which ones need the most help when it's cold.

Next, KNOW YOUR SEEDS. Learn what birds like what seeds and by how much. Make sure you watch and see what seeds get the most attention and keep them stocked up if the birds are eating them.

Finally, KEEP WATCHING. Not all wild birds act the same way, but as this report shows, different species certainly have their own tastes. Monitor your birds' feeding patterns, and don't forget to try out new seed combinations whenever you can.

Sadly, you can't stop birds getting cold, but with these tips, you can at least make sure they're well fed this winter!

[SOURCE: Nature's Feast]

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Alexander Hay

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