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Bird-friendly school ground - When to feed wild birds
Bird feeder in Montenegro; credit to CZIP
The value of winter feeding (in Europe and Central Asia) has been known for a long time, but in recent years it has become apparent that many birds are struggling to survive during the breeding season because of fluctuations in weather, the effects of intensive farming and greater tidiness in gardens and all built-up areas in general. By feeding wild birds all year round, we are giving them a better chance to survive periods of food shortage whenever they may occur.
Autumn and winter Put out food and water on a regular basis. If the weather is severe feed twice daily if possible, in the morning and in the early afternoon. Always adjust the quantity of food you put out to the demand, and never allow uneaten foods to accumulate round feeders. Always use good quality food and scraps (the suitable list will be presented in an autumn news release). Once you have established a routine, please try not to change it.
Spring and summer Only selected foods should be fed in spring and sumer and good hygiene is vital or feeding may do more harm than good. Black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, sultanas, raisins, currants, mild grated cheese, mealworms, waxworms, good seed mixtures without loose peanuts, food bars and summer seed mixture can all be used. Soft apples and pears cut in half, bananas and grapes are also useful. Some people also use soaked dog or cat food and tinned pet foods. Thes can be helpful but may attract magpies, crows and other large species. Avoid using peanut fat and bread in spring and summer, since these foods can be harmful if fed to young nestlings.