feeding garden birds

Feeding the birds in your garden is a very rewarding pastime, helping your garden birds to survive, while also bringing you lots of pleasure.

Here are a few tips to get you started

What to feed

There is a wide variety of food stuffs available and the more variety you provide, the greater the variety of birds you will attract to your garden.
It's a good idea to start with a general seed mixture which will appeal to a wide variety of birds by itself. Then you can introduce selected seeds which will appeal to specefic types of birds.

Here are a few suggestions -

  • Ground and table mix
  • Feeder mix
  • No mess
  • Sunflower
  • Niger
  • Robin mix
  • Peanuts are popular and may be fed whole from a mesh feeder, or chopped peanuts fed on a table.
  • Dried mealworms are available which may be fed in a dish or just on a table.

     Suet is another favourite and comes in several forms
  • Suet balls, 500g and 90g
  • Coconuts hollowed out and filled with suet
  • Suet blocks
  • Suet pellets
How to feed

There is a vast selection of feeders available to suit most applications, it's best to use a variety of methods as different birds prefer different feeding methods, for example -

  • Mesh peanut feeder
  • Tube seed feeder
  • Niger seed feeder, suitable only for niger seed, the goldfinches favourite
  • Suet ball holder, small and large
  • Suet block holder
Bird tables are ideal as you can place food directly on them without the need for any specialist feeders. They also look attractive in your garden. Don't forget a water dish.

When and how much to feed

Generally you may feed freely all year round, with more being offered during periods of high demand such as winter and springtime.


Remember to clean feeders, dishes and tables on a regular basis.
Also, wash your hands after handling birdfood and accessories.

Common garden birds and what they eat

  • Blackbird - ground and table mix, suet, soft fruit, worms.
  • Robin - robin mix, chopped peanuts, suet, mealworms, insects.
  • Blue tit - peanuts, feeder mix, sunflower hearts, suet.
  • Song thrush - ground and table mix, robin mix, suet, fruit, insects, worms.
  • Finches - peanuts, feeder mix, British finch mix, sunflower hearts, suet.
  • Starling - ground and table mix, chopped peanuts, suet.
  • House sparrow - peanuts, feeder mix, sunflower seeds, suet.
  • Woodpecker - peanuts, sunflower hearts, suet.
  • Pheasants,ducks,etc. - mixed corn.
  • Pigeons - allmost everything.
Don't forget, this is just a guide, experiment with different foods for your garden birds.

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