If you want to attract more garden birds, a feeder and table in your garden area is a great way to do so. In this article, we’ll guide you on the different foods you can place in your garden for many bird species.
What Food to Put on a Bird Table
Bird feeding allows you to support bird species and keep them happy and healthy during winter weather and summer. If you’re new to using a bird table, there are so many choices available on the market, which can make the search daunting. In this case, the simplest way is to choose bird food that’s designed all year round. Once placed on feeding stations, it’ll attract all types of garden birds, including the most popular breeds. Choose bird food that’s advertised as ‘Complete’ because this will contain seed mixes, including sunflower seeds. So you can attract all types of birds.
Avoid giving birds kitchen scraps, cookies, and anything that’s not tailored to birds. Although bread isn’t harmful to birds, it doesn’t add any nutritional value to their diet.
A Specific Seed Mix for Certain Types of Birds
If you’ve been feeding birds for a while, you might want to attract certain types of birds. In which case, here are some popular foods to add to your bird table to keep them coming back for more.
- Great Tit: Mealworms and peanuts
- Goldfinch: Nyjer seed
- Blue Tit: Sunflower hearts and energy balls
- Great Spotted Woodpecker: Peanuts and sunflower seeds
- Robin: Mealworms and sunflower hearts
- Goldfinch: Sunflower hearts and Nyjer seeds
- House Sparrow: Seeds
- Dunnock: Peanuts
- Blackbirds: Mealworms
- Nuthatches: Sunflower seeds
- Song Thrush: Mealworms and peanuts
Leaving Water on Your Bird Table
Aside from food, it’s important that you also leave water on your bird table for birds to drink and remain hydrated, as well as have a bath and keep clean. Opt for clean water; when it becomes dirty, it will be prone to passing on diseases, so always use fresh tap water. When it’s warmer weather, you might want to change the water a few times a day because birds become more thirsty in higher heat. And this gives birds a chance to bathe and cool down, which means that it’ll get dirtier quicker.
Moreover, in the winter, the water can become frozen in gardens, making it difficult for birds to drink out of and bathe in. Instead, remove any ice and replace it with fresh water as soon as you can. Never use an anti-freeze product, as this can be seriously harmful to birds.
In addition, you want to place the bath on a bird table, but they should be placed on a separate one because cats could be hiding near the vegetation, getting ready to pounce. When birds are bathing, they’re vulnerable, so they must be on a high bird table where flocks of animals can’t reach them as easily.
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Tips to Reduce the Spreading of Diseases
As we mentioned earlier, a bird table can host various diseases, so you have to maintain a bird table for health and hygiene purposes properly.
- Assess the amount of food that’s sat on the bird table. If you’re putting out too much bird food and it’s not being eaten, it could get mouldy. Reduce the amount accordingly.
- Use several feeding stations across different bird tables to prevent many birds from feeding at once. Doing so will also decrease the number of bird droppings on the ground.
- Clean the bird table with soapy water every week or so to ensure that it’s clean and there’s no build-up of droppings or mouldy food.
- Opt for a ground feeding tray if you’d prefer not to use bird tables. It can keep debris and loose food from falling into the hands of rats overnight.
- Prevent placing bird tables under garden features or trees, as they can quickly become contaminated with bird droppings.
Cleaning Bird Feeders
If you like to use bird feeders in your garden, you’ll need to properly care for them to ensure that it doesn’t have a build-up of mould and keep it free from mess. Here are some of the many ways you can improve the lives of birds and keep your friends happy on your tables.
- Clean the bird feeders outside with a separate brush designed solely for this purpose.
- Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning all bird-feeding products because they contain diseases that can affect humans, too.
- Always remove the remaining food from the feeder and throw it away; don’t save all of the leftovers to add to a bird mix because it could quickly become mouldy.
- Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and scrub the feeder with a mild disinfectant and brush. Rinse the bird feeder with cold water and leave it outside to air dry before adding it to the bird table.
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Find the Right Food for Your Feathered Friend
Rather than throwing food on your garden floor, in a tree, on a slate roof or on the ground, opt for a table to add more nature to your back garden. It’s also important to clean the feeders for hygiene and to avoid any diseases.
Do you have any additional tips on what food to put on a bird table? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments.