Rules of Feeding
Can I feed all year round?
Although birds need our help most during winter, feeding between the months of April and October can also be helpful, as there is a great demand on natural resources due to the increase in hungry mouths to feed.
If feeding during the summer, only put out peanuts in a fine mesh container so that parent birds cannot take large pieces that might cause young chicks to choke, and avoid fats completely.
Safe foods to use at this time of year include sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, sultanas, raisins, currants and mealworms.
Five Rules of Feeding
- Feed regularly: don’t put out lots of feeders and then forget to refill them. Birds can become dependant on a food source during harsh weather.
- Only use fresh peanuts and seed. Do not feed mouldy, wrinkled or wizened peanuts or seed.
- Ensure fresh water is always available for drinking and bathing. An upturned dustbin lid with a stone in it is often all that is required. Be sure to remove the ice in cold weather so that birds can drink.
- Birds often feed on the ground below a feeder. Make sure that there is no shrubbery nearby that could conceal a cat, and try to keep all feeders at least 5-6 feet above the ground.
- Remember to wash all feeders and to change the water in the bird bath on a regular basis.
Source Garden Bird Detectives Exhibition courtesy of BirdWatch Ireland
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