During the lockdown period, many of us have been venturing out into the garden and appreciating what it has to offer. People now have time to do a spot of gardening, enjoy the sunny weather and admire the wildlife. With summer on the way, you may have spotted more species of birds and adorable fledglings in your garden. It can be tricky to know what to feed birds in the hotter months, therefore, we have listed our top foods for summer!
Mix It Up
The Spring and Summer months are an extremely busy time for a wild bird. During the Spring, birds are recovering from the stress of winter and building nests. In the summer, nesting parents are working hard to feed their young whilst maintaining their own energy levels. Therefore, feeding them a high energy mix is essential! When selecting a bird food, look for ingredients such as Sunflower Hearts, Pinhead Oatmeal and Dried Mealworms, these contain high levels of proteins and nutrients. Providing a blend of essential ingredients is also important for skeletal and tissue growth in young fledglings! These essential ingredients can be found in Extra Select’s Spring & Summer Mix – an excellent choice for this time of year.
Hearts Vs Seeds
Sunflower Hearts are a great feed for wild birds in the summer, but what are they? Sunflower hearts are the kernels of a sunflower seed. They are packed with protein and calories making them a perfect energy boost! Birds love these as the husk (black outer casing) has been removed, meaning they can swallow it in one. These are super easy for adults to carry back to a nest and easily digestible for young birds. Not only that - they are mess free! Because birds won’t have to remove the husk, no sunflower seeds will get dropped in the process. Perfect for a clean (and sunflower free) garden!
Peanuts are highly nutritious and loved by many birds, however these can be a choking hazard for young chicks. Instead, provide peanut granules as these are much more suitable for young birds. If you have just brought a large bag of whole peanuts, you can create peanut granules by crushing them up. Alternatively, you can feed whole peanuts through a mesh feeder to ensure adult birds do not take large nuts back to the nest. When purchasing Peanuts or Peanut Granules, ensure that they are made specifically for birds as these will be aflatoxin tested to keep birds safe. These are a perfect option for summer – Finches, Tits and Woodpeckers love Peanut Granules!
Mealworms either live or dried, are great to feed wild birds in the summer. Many people tend to go for Dried Mealworms as these are much cheaper and more convenient. A tip for summer would be to soak the Dried Mealworms in water prior to feeding as this gives them extra moisture, making them easier for young birds to swallow. They are an excellent source of protein and our loved by Blue Tits, Great Tits and Robins!
Don’t Forget Water
Remember to provide a birdbath with clean water for birds to drink and bathe in, especially in hot weather conditions. Birds receive a very small amount of moisture from food and need to bathe to keep their plumage in good condition. Ensure the depth of the water is no more than 3 inches at its deepest and replace the water regularly.