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Be a Birdy's Friend

06 Apr 2022

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Not only is May the 4th (be with you) Starwars Day, it’s also Bird Day! During the spring, migrating birds move to their summer nesting grounds. It’s an excellent time for those new to birdwatching to learn to identify birds by species. Enthusiasts also know that birds will migrate through gardens and stop for a rest, a bite to eat, and a drink if the right habitat is provided. Stand prepared by your window with binoculars and watch as new visitors arrive daily. At this time of year birds are also nesting with the last of the frosts safely out of the way. Rearing young is exhausting and a plentiful supply of food is important.

Did you know that certain birds favour different foods?...

Small seeds, such as millet, attract mostly house sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves.

Flaked maize is loved by blackbirds.

Peanuts and sufnlower seeds are the food of choice of tits and greenfinches.

Mixes that contain chunks or whole nuts are suitable for winter feeding only.

Pinhead oatmeal is excellent for many birds.

Avoid seed mixtures that have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils as along with wheat and barley only the large species like phesants, pigeons and doves can eat them dry. These are added to some cheaper seed mixes to bulk them up.

Also avoid any mixture containing green or pink lumps as these are dog biscuit, which can only be eaten when soaked.

Both smooth and crunchy peanut butter can be fed to the birds in your garden.

Why not make some natural bird feeders by smearing some peanut butter onto a pinecone and rolling in birdseed? You can also spread it onto slices of fruit like apple and hang from trees for a variety of treats.

You can also mix suet with birdseed and press into hollowed out orange halves for another hanging alternative.

Mealworms are a great natural food for birds and can be used to feed them throughout the year.

For more information on bird species you’ll see in your garden and what to feed them, visit the RSPB website here: www.rspb.org.uk

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