Send your garden aflutter this February!

Posted on: 20 February 2012 by Alexander Hay

With some garden bird species sadly in decline, now is the ideal time to put up nest boxes to help protect a variety of wild birds throughout the breeding season.

A lovely pair of birds, oo-err missus etc.

Using the findings from its recently published and scientifically proven Optimum Foraging Study, Nature’s Feast is also reminding households to leave out sufficient amounts of high energy food in order to assist our feathered friends during this critical time.

Sam Marriage, who is responsible for nutrition and welfare at Nature’s Feast, explains: 

“During the breeding season adult species often require the lifeline of extra food as a result of the energy they require to feed their hungry young chicks. Luckily we can all lend a helping hand by putting out food packed full of energy. For example, dried mealworms are ideal as they are high in protein, whilst sunflower hearts and peanuts both contain high oil content for long-term energy. What’s more, when a bird finds plentiful food at a feeding station it is able to pass by less desirable seeds and instead forage for the ones it requires. During the breeding season this is clearly vital, as it enables the bird to minimise the handling time for each food item, in turn maximising its energy intake.”

Make your own nest box

If you want to help encourage wild birds to visit your garden this spring why not make your own nest box?  Not only is it simple to do, it’s also something the whole family can enjoy. You can find tips and ideas and just about everything you need to know to complete this fun and interactive project at Naturesfeast, including a step-by-step plan for you to follow.

Top feeding tips

The provision of nutritious food throughout the year is now increasingly vital for the welfare and conservation of wild birds. Whether you are a committed bird lover, an enthusiastic amateur or a parent of a young child, feeding the birds is an enjoyable pastime for all the family.

Here are our top five tips

  1. Fresh, clean water should always be available
  2. Consider different foods and feeding methods; some birds can hang from feeders while others may prefer table or ground feeding
  3. Try to supply a variety of food types, including grains, seeds, fruits and insects so the birds can instinctively select what they need to supplement their natural diets.
  4. Feeding stations should be located near cover but away from nest boxes. However, if there is a risk from cats, sparrow hawks or other predators, a greater distance from cover should be allowed. If unsure, 2 metres from cover is a suggested happy medium
  5. When feeding wild birds it is important to maintain a hygienic environment. Ensure feeding stations are regularly cleaned with warm water and ideally a safe disinfectant. Remove any wet or old food as soon as possible to avoid the build up of bacteria, moulds or toxins.

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Alexander Hay

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