Winter is the season where feeding birds benefits them most. That doesn’t mean you can’t feed them at any time as food shortages can occur at any time of the year, especially this year there may also have a knock on effect from the COVID-19 virus. During the breeding season you increase the survival of the young by having food readily available for them.
During summer and autumn birds require high protein foods, especially while they are moulting as this uses a lot of their energy. They have start to building up their fat reserves ready for the winter. During summer and autumn only feed selected foods. It is essential you keep everything clean or feeding may do more harm than good.
The best food to feed during summer and autumn:
• Black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins and currants, mealworms, waxworms as well as good seed mixtures without loose peanuts,
• Summer seed mixture is great at this time of year. You can also feed them soft apples, pears, bananas and grapes.
• If the weather turns wet or cold during the summer months, severe shortage of insect food can occur. During exceptionally dry weather period, earthworms will be unavailable to ground feeding birds because of the hard soil. Mealworms can be provided during these times to prevent starvation.
Foods to avoid during summer and autumn:
• You should avoid using peanuts during the summer and autumn months. You should also avoid using and bread during this time. These foods these can be harmful to the nestlings if they are fed to them.
• You should avoid feeding home-made fat balls as these can go soft and rotten in warm weather.
• Commercially produced fat bars are suitable for summer feeding but should be disposed of if there are any remains after three weeks.
Your local McCaskie Country store has a large selection bird food and feeders available to take away today.