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Maintaining A Wildbird Presence In Your Garden During The Winter.

“Consider different foods and feeding methods. Remember that not all foods will attract the same birds”Paraic Horkan

Wild birds come to depend on us once we start to feed them so ideally they should really be fed all year long. We become particularly aware of their plight in the winter time due to the colder weather and the perceived hardship that this may bring to our feathered friends.

There are many different types of wildbirds in Ireland and different birds will have a preference for different food varieties. Peanuts, Nyjer Seed, Sunflower seed and Suet/Fat/Energy Balls are all really popular garden foods. There are also feed mixes available which are tailored to individual species’ needs.

There is a wide variety of feeders available, which can be hung from anything!

Some are designed with smaller mesh to make taking your seed more difficult for larger birds. Some are designed with slightly larger mesh to accommodate certain foods such as Fat Balls, Peanut or Seed.

It is advisable to avoid ground feeding if you have cats in your area.

Feeding Tips
  • Always maintain a continuous supply of fresh food as birds will come to depend on the food you put out
  • Consider different foods and feeding methods, remember that not all foods will attract the same birds. Some birds can hang from feeders while others, such as robins and blackbirds, may prefer table or ground feeding. It’s best to avoid if you have cats in the area.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have trees available for hanging the feeders – a metal hook, either planted into the ground or hung off the side of a structure works just as well.
  • Only put out as much food as will be consumed in one or two days.
  • Fresh clean water should always be available. Water is critical to birds’ survival and adding water to your to your bird feeding area will quickly attract birds.
  • Food should be stored in a cool, dry place Check the seed often for mould and do not use seed that has been stored for an extended period of time
  • If large birds such as magpies are a problem in your area, you may want to invest in squirrel-proof feeders.
Hygiene:

When feeding wild birds it is important to maintain a hygienic environment:

  • Ensure feeding stations are regularly cleaned with warm water
  • Remove any wet or old food as soon as possible to avoid the build up of bacteria, mould or toxins.
  • Help further reduce the risk of bacteria build up by having several feeding areas and relocate them regularly
  • Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling products
Food range available

Peanuts
‘Peckish’ Peanuts give garden birds plenty of energy and are guaranteed to attract a wide variety of birds into your garden, such as blue tits, bullfinch, coal tits

Peanut Feeder: The peanut feeder has a fine mesh surface which both provides a perch for birds whilst feeding and also ensures that birds cannot remove large pieces of nut which may pose a choking hazard

Chirpy Wild Bird Mix: This mix is full of nourishment and ensures a healthy balanced diet for broad range of wild birds throughout the year

Seed Mix Feeder: Seed feeders are transparent tubes with holes from which the birds can take the seed. As they are a smooth surface they will usually have one or two perches to allow birds to perch while feeding.

As always, feel free to call into any Horkans Garden Centre and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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