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red robin on hawthorn against green Colourfence
A plump little robin resting on a hawthorn branch

2022 Bird Flu update: Is it safe to feed the birds?

“It is extremely unlikely that you would catch bird flu by feeding birds in your garden. But good hygiene at bird feeding stations is always sensible, both to protect the birds and ourselves. ” RSPB


Feeding garden birds is especially appreciated in wintertime. Winter can be difficult for garden birds whose food sources are scarcer at this time of year. The good news is that we can help them by providing food to sustain them over the cold period. Here are some things that you can offer your winged visitors:

  • Bread or toast crumbs, cheese, rice and cereals.
  • Sunflower seeds. These are rich in protein!
  • Peanuts, but only unsalted. Salt can be toxic to birds.
  • Fruit. But be mindful of household pets for whom fruit may be toxic.
  • Make your own fat balls by mixing porridge oats and leftover cooking fat.
  • Nyjer seeds. These are little black seeds rich in fat.
feeding garden birds

Other things to bear in mind when feeding the birds

  • Just like us, they like routine.
  • Try to feed twice a day at the same time each day
  • Discard any rotten food and keep the feeding area clean
  • Only feed what will be eaten to avoid attracting rodents
  • A supply of fresh water is appreciated, whether that’s a bird bath or simply a large bowl or upturned bin lid
  • Choose a quiet area for your feeding spot that is sheltered from rain and wind
  • Watch out for cats, choose a place where birds can make a quick getaway
hanging bird feeder against brown colourfence
Bird feeders can be hung from your ColourFence with matching brackets

Feeding garden birds is time well spent, especially in winter. Given time to realise there’s a new food source, they will surely enjoy and appreciate your offering. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the birds to come and enjoy the feast. If you are keen on garden birds, the RSPB is hosting a Big Garden Birdwatch on 27-29 January 2023. See more here and let us know in our Facebook comments if you decide to give it a go! Happy birdwatching.

Good luck and enjoy!

Jo @ ColourFence

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