It has been well documented that during colder months, wild birds need help to find energy-rich food. Something many households find easy and fun to assist with like sunflower hearts of peanuts.
The tendency is to think that in spring and summer your feathered friends can have a “lighter diet”. In fact, there is a persistent myth that you shouldn’t even feed birds during the breeding season.
Playing your part in conservation – and encouraging birds to visit your garden – is important year round. You’re helping to supplement natural food sources which are not as easy to find now, especially in urban areas. However, there are subtle changes you need to make to help garden variety birds during breeding season.
Do They Still Need Nuts?
One of the most important considerations during spring, is that birds are moulting their winter feathers – one of the reasons they still need sources of good quality protein. As there are parent birds working hard to sustain their youngsters, and growing juvenile birds hungry for protein.
However, though bird nuts are a great way to keep many garden visitors happy and healthy at any time of year, leaving whole peanuts freely available on bird trays and tables in breeding season is not advisable. This is because whole bird nuts represent a choking hazard for chicks, just as they do with small children! Parent birds could carry the nut to the nest and accidentally put their offspring in danger.
Best Ways to Supply Nuts to Help In Bird Breeding Season
One way to be a kind bird feeder, and avoid problems, is to place peanuts for birds
in feeders. The pecking required ensures that this fabulous food is eaten - or transported to the nest - in small portions.
More Tips for Breeding Season Feeding
Remember to keep bird feeders clean and clear away any waste, restocking with fresh bird food regularly. This ensures young birds (or adults) don’t eat rotten substances that can damage their health.
If the spring weather is cold and wet (driving insect populations away), you may have to revert back to being generous on quantities of bird feed too.