Encouraging wild birds into your garden is a wonderful way to support the local wildlife - and depending on where you live you could be lucky enough to spot some interesting species throughout the year! Bird feeders are inexpensive and can be filled with all sorts of treats, from nuts and suets which provide essential fats to seeds which contain oils and take care of a bird's feathers. You should also consider providing water baths for drinking and bathing, especially if you're in a town or city where there is less for birds to find naturally.
The needs of your local wild birds will change throughout the year - here's what they'll appreciate during the different seasons:
Birds will be raising chicks and looking for strengthening foods to help them fly the nest, so mealworms and peanut granules are a great source of those essential nutrients.
Mealworms are still helpful as young birds get ready to take flight for the first time, while adults are likely to need a high-energy food source like seeds - particularly in dry summers.
In Autumn food is scarce but migrating birds haven't left yet, so you'll find a number of species in your garden - scattering seeds is a good way to support the ground-feeding birds alongside your regular bird feeder. A sand bath is also excellent for migrating birds, which need a healthy plumage before the long flight.
Natural food is hard to find in winter, so you may find your garden full of thrushes and finches, which stay in the UK throughout the colder months. Maintain a regular feeding pattern as birds will get used to the availability, and stock plenty of suet or fatty foods to help birds gain weight and keep warm!
You can also provide nest boxes for smaller birds in your garden, allowing at least one family to set up a home over the spring and summer! Robins, sparrows and tits are particularly well-suited to nesting boxes.