How to feed garden birds

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As the weather gets colder our feathered friends find it harder to get the nutrition they need to see them through the winter. If you’d like to feed the birds in your garden, our guide below will help you see which foods your favourite species enjoy the most and how best to feed it to them. 

House Sparrow


Favourite foods

Small cereal seeds such as canary seed and millet.


Feeding facts

The size of a House sparrow’s beak limits the size of seed they can de-husk, so they tend to eat lots of low energy seeds quickly as opposed to fewer large high energy seeds.


How to feed them

Place their seed mix into seed feeders.

House Sparrow
Robin

Robin


Favourite foods

Insects like meal worms, seeds, naked oats and kibbled peanuts.


Feeding facts

As ground feeding birds, Robin’s use their short beaks to dig up insects. This means they tend to prefer food with a similarly soft texture like mealworms.


How to feed them

Spread their food on ground feeders, dining station trays or tables.

Greenfinch


Greenfinch


Favourite foods

Large high energy oil seeds such as sunflower seed and hempseed


Feeding facts

With their more generously-proportioned beaks, Greenfinches are able to de-husk larger and more nutritious seeds.


How to feed them

Put large high energy seed mixes into a seed feeder.

Greenfinch
Blue Tit

Blue Tit


Favourite foods

High energy seeds and nuts such as black sunflower seeds and peanuts.


Feeding facts

Blue Tits like to have protective cover near to their feeders in order to avoid predators. Flitting between the feeders and their shelter uses lots of energy so they favour high fat foods.


How to feed them

Hang seed feeders with straight perches near protective cover.

Goldfinch


Favourite foods

High energy fatty seeds such as sunflower and nyger seed.


Feeding facts

Although Goldfinches can eat both small and large seeds and nuts, they love small high-fat foods like sunflower and nyger seed.


How to feed them

Place whole sunflower Hearts in mesh feeders or loose sunflower and nyger seeds in appropriate feeders. 

Gold Finch
Chaffinch

Chaffinch


Favourite foods

Most types of seed.


Feeding facts

Chaffinches can be found in a variety of habitats including farmland, woodland and suburban areas, so are adaptable and have a varied diet.


How to feed them

Fill seed feeders with mixed seeds.

Top tip:
  • Avoid seed mixtures that have split peas, beans, dried rice or lentils as only the larger bird species can eat them dry. Mixtures containing green or pink chunks are also not ideal as these ingredients are processed and will need to be soaked first.