Birds like to be fed in winter. Especially if you have a garden, you can attract the many native songbirds and watch, which is also an experience for families with children. But can the birds also be fed bread, or what is the ideal bird food? Not every bird species eats the same thing, so before the food is laid out, you should also check which bird species are predominantly in your own environment.

Feed birds with bread?

It used to be common to take stale bread to the next pond and feed the ducks, geese and swans here. Even today this is still popular, especially with small children. But animal rights activists sound the alarm and say that bread can make animals sick. Therefore, bread should be avoided as feeding for the songbirds in the garden and the birds in the pond for the following reasons:

  • if bread is laid out, it spoils quickly
  • it starts to mold when it is damp
  • the birds cannot stand the mold
  • in the worst case scenario, they can perish
  • Bread crumbs swell in birds’ stomachs
  • this leads to stomach problems
  • Birds then stop taking in water
  • so the bread stays in the stomach as a thick lump

Every now and then a piece of bread, shredded, mixed with the seeds will not harm any bird. Large breadcrumbs laid out on the floor or the sole feeding of bread should be avoided in any case.

Bird feeding is recommended

Even if voices keep getting loud that feeding the birds is not absolutely necessary in the local latitudes and should only be carried out when the birds can no longer find natural food due to snowfall or frosty temperatures, NABU recommends feeding the birds in the basin Winter. When feeding birds, attention should therefore be paid to the following in particular:

  • feed between November to February
  • especially in frost and snow
  • in summer the birds could be attacked by pathogens

If you want to feed the birds in winter, you should take care not to spread the food directly on the ground. This is because this also attracts mice and rats, who can simply get to the food here. It is therefore always better to raise a bird feeder or a food dispenser so that rodents cannot reach it from below.

Use the feed dispenser

Food dispensers are better than the tried and tested bird feeders. Because in the commercially available feed silos, the birds have no opportunity to run around in the feed. So this is not soiled. In this way, the transmission of pathogens can be minimized. A feed dispenser also offers the following advantages:

  • the feed does not spoil
  • Wetness and snow cannot get into the feed dispenser
  • little maintenance work
  • Feed dispensers only need to be cleaned before and after use
  • otherwise only the feed needs to be refilled
  • this can be offered for a longer period of time

If, on the other hand, a bird feeder is used, it must be cleaned regularly. The feed costs can also rise here, as a lot of feed has to be disposed of due to moisture or contamination.

Tip: Anyone who cleans the feed silos before or after winter or a bird feeder in between should wear gloves when working. Otherwise, various pathogens could be transmitted.

Basic feed

Sunflower seeds are particularly suitable as basic feed, which is gladly accepted by all bird species. These can be offered in two different ways. Once already peeled or unpeeled. If you just want to feed the birds, you can use the peeled kernels. However, if you want to observe, you should choose the unpeeled variant. Because here the birds stay longer at the feeding place.

Tip: It is important to know that unpeeled sunflower seeds generate more waste under the feeding area.

Food for grain eaters

The different bird species also eat different food. So there are the grain-eater, to which the tits, sparrows and finches belong in particular. If there are many of these birds in your own garden, then enough grain should be made available. The following should be taken into account:

  • Tits like a mixture of seeds and fat
  • Tit dumplings are ideal
  • can also be made by yourself
  • Outdoor feed mixes contain many seeds

If you make the tit dumplings yourself or if you buy a mix of seeds in stores, you should make sure that they do not contain any salt. Boiled potatoes or bacon do not belong in homemade birdseed either.

Tip: Commercial tit dumplings should not be bought in plastic nets. The small birds can get their legs tangled in this and, in the worst case, suffer serious injuries.

Food for soft feeders

Much more native songbirds that populate the gardens in search of food, especially in winter, belong to the so-called soft feeders. These include blackbirds, field thrushes, dunnock, wren and robins. For these birds, the food should be composed as follows:

  • oatmeal
  • bran
  • Raisins
  • Fruit, such as pieces of apple or pear

In contrast to grain feed, soft feed can spoil more quickly. Therefore, not too much of this should be offered at once. It is better to lure the birds with a little soft food at certain feeding times and not provide this for several hours or even days.

Birds switch to vegetarian

The birds that overwinter in the local latitudes change their diet in winter. Blackbirds, titmice and sparrows feed on the many insects and their larvae that they find on trees or in the meadow in summer. This is mainly used to feed the young in the nests. If this food is no longer available in winter due to snow and frost, the native bird species change their diet and become vegetarians.

Tip: Birds that cannot do without animal food even in winter are therefore heading south. So it doesn’t matter if the soft or grain feed provided is not mixed with mealworms.

Create a garden suitable for birds

If you want to feed the birds as naturally as possible in winter, you can also create a garden that is suitable for birds. These are plants on which the birds naturally find their food well into winter. The plants that still provide food for the birds in winter include:

  • Mistletoe berries or rowan berries
  • Trees with thick bark
  • Leave rotten branches and trunks standing in winter
  • many maggots and small insects sit here
  • Thistle-like wild teasel is rich in seeds
  • Spruce with cones
  • Book for the chaffinch
  • Oak trees for the jay
Tip: Even with a bird-friendly garden, it should be remembered that the natural supply is very limited, especially in late winter, and that additional feeding at feeding places is then necessary.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *