As the leaves start to change colour, and the nights draw in, it’s important to remember our feathered garden friends. Autumn is a season of change, and it’s important to keep your feeders full to help wild birds as the weather changes. In autumn, wild bird natural food sources start to be depleted; less bugs and berries to be found! Wild birds that migrate will be building up fat reserves ready for a long flight ahead, and passing migratory wild birds may be looking for a quick refill. Ensure your feeders are full of the right food will help set up wild birds for winter and for travel, and it will have the added bonus of helping to imprint the location of a reliable food source for when they return in the spring.
We find that offering a variety of food types, with a focus on high oil/high energy content provides resident and migrating birds the best nutrition possible. Here is our top 5 wild bird foods to feed in the autumn:
It’s more important than ever to keep your wild bird feeds and bird baths clean to avoid spreading germs or disease. Hot soapy water and a stiff brush is the best way to keep your feeders clean and safe. Avoid using any chemicals that could harm wild birds. Remember to keep your bird bath topped up, especially as the temperature drops. If the bird bath freezes, simply break the ice and refill the bird bath. Never use antifreeze or similar. We’ve often seen the advice to put a small ball in the water to prevent freezing, however it’s never seemed to work for us! Perhaps you’ll have better luck than us.
Keep an eye on your bird feeders, and only refill your feeders when required. Avoid having lots of uneaten food around the base of your feeders as this may attract rodents. It will also help you judge supply and demand.
Mid-autumn, when the breeding season is over, is the perfect chance to clean out any nest boxes you may have. Once you’ve cleaned out any bedding, use boiling water to clean out any parasites. Wrens and other smaller birds may use the nest box to keep warm during winter months.
To help add variety to your garden feeders, you can food items from your kitchen. Here are a few items to feed, and a few to avoid :
What do the wild birds like to eat in your garden during the Autumn? Leave your tips and stories in the comments!