The joy of bird feeding

What’s that, a bird hopping about outside? Is it a robin or a wren, a goldcrest or a blue tit? There it is, criss-crossing! Spotting wildlife in the midst of your day is always exciting, but when it has wings, flies into your garden and eats from your feeders – even better!

Whether you’re new to bird feeding or you’re a seasoned bird spotter, our wildlife range has you covered. Read on for tips, tricks and the best of our selection to help you charm the birds out of the trees. The right bird food won’t just attract birds, it’ll transform your garden into a living landscape.

A little helping hand 

Life is hard during winter, particularly if you’re a  bird. After the first cold snap of December, the months of January and February bring less hours of light, scant resources and buffeting winds. Lawn grubs are harder to find amongst the sodden leaves, and the ground is too hard and icy to dig out worms, caterpillars, aphids and beetles.

All of which to say, we can help!  Small birds will still have to puff their feathers against the cold, but we can chip in by supplementing their natural diets with tasty morsels.

High in fat content, these Deluxe Fatballs from Grumpy Gardener are a fantastic choice. They’re chock-full of cereals, oils, fats, seeds and minerals, with extra beef tallows and seeds. A great source of energy, these can help birds maintain their essential fat reserves, keeping them cosy and warm for winter.

All wild birds love fatballs, but there are some species in particular you might see more frequently, including blue tits, great tits, dunnocks, blackbirds, long-tailed tits and robins.

How’s it hanging?

Which leads us to our next point, how best to feed them? Birds try to eat in locations where they feel safe, so we think it’s often best to place food higher up off the ground, using natural coverage from hedgerows or trees.

This set of feeders from Grumpy Gardener ticks all the right bird-boxes. It has everything you need to get started, with three different types of feeders, nutrient-rich fatballs, mealworms and seeds. Why not hang them off a hook or tree, a hanging basket or even from a balcony?

If you position your feeders somewhere quiet, safe and sheltered, there’s a good chance you’ll have visitors. Different birds have different feeding habits, so it’s a good idea to mix things up. Robins, for example, prefer feeding from the ground, whereas smaller birds like house sparrows and greenfinches prefer hanging feeders that swing in the breeze. You can use these Mini Pocket Compact Binoculars to watch the different species!

All year round 

Although winter feeding benefits birds most, food shortages can occur at any time of the year. By feeding all year round, you’ll give them a better chance to survive food shortages whenever they may occur. In spring and summer too, during the breeding period, high-energy foods help the adults feed their fledglings.

Perfect for use throughout the seasons,  Richard Jackson’s Premium Bird Food is the crème de la crème for the winged ones!

Much loved and much pecked, this high-energy formula contains a blend of 13 natural ingredients, including whole sunflower hearts (a rich source of oil and protein for all birds), higher energy suet pellets (a superfood for birds) and kibbled peanuts. It’s also 100% free of wheat flakes (a cheap filler used in many other birds foods).

Welcome wildlife 

Whether you want to help the birds or you simply want to see more wildlife in your garden, we hope this blog may have given you some inspiration. Bird feeding can be enjoyed throughout the year, from the freeze-frames of winter to the sun-soaked days of summer.

And remember, for all things wild and living, be sure to visit our virtual gardening centre.