Their lives may depend upon you!
A bird can use 10% of its body weight to keep warm on a cold winter night, so if they arrive at your garden expecting to find food and there is none, they may have no other source. It can literally be the difference between life and death.
There are two distinct species of birds that come to feed; the first are the original woodland species including the blackbird, robin, song thrush, blue and great tits and chaffinch. The second are open country or farmland birds such as the starling, goldfinch and house sparrow and in the winter siskin, brambling and redpoll.
The birds feeding habits in the garden are directly related to the way they feed ‘in the wild’. Tits and smaller finches are used to balancing on thin twigs and seed heads, so they will hang from parts of feeders. Larger birds need to have a stable perch to feed on, so feeders with metal rods are more suitable.
Blackbirds and song thrush and in winter redwing and fieldfare are ground feeders, so they are most at home on the flat surface of a bird table or a feeding tray near the ground. Make sure you leave some food at ground level for timid birds such as dunnocks and wrens, which wait to feed on food dropped from the table above.
The nuthatch, robin, blackbird and all of the tit family thrive on fat based products, unlike goldfinches, siskin, redpoll and brambling, which are specialist seed eaters and need a diet of mixed birdseed, millet, whole and hulled sunflower and nyjer seeds. They will also eat fat products as long as seeds are added to the mix. We grow all of these seeds on our farm, apart from the niger seed, which is grown in warmer climates.
View our full range of Birdseed here