How to Feed Wild Birds in Your Garden

OSCAR Helpline is here with some handy tips and products to help you get the best out of feeding wild birds.

Created: 13/04/2015 Updated: 04/08/2021 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

diet, Diet & Nutrition, wild bird

Feeding wild birds is a popular pastime for many people throughout the UK. Different species of birds into the garden can be easily achieved by feeding them in the way that they need.

OSCAR Helpline is here with some handy tips and products to help you get the best out of feeding wild birds.

When should you feed wild birds?

Birds need our help all year round, but especially between March and June due to the increase in chicks at this time.

Check on your bird feeders regularly. If your feeders are not empty within 10 days, lower the amount of food in the feeders to attract more birds to them. Wild birds don't like to feed from seeds which are wet and damp. By not overfilling the feeders, you will keep the food fresh & encourage more birds to them.

If your feeders are empty in less than 10 days, then you are succeeding! We would advise introducing more feeders around your garden to deal with the feeding demand! Don't be tempted to over fill them.

Where should you feed wild birds?

Not all birds feed in the same way. It can be a good idea to keep a note of which birds are coming into your garden, so you can adapt the way you feed the birds.

Most birds prefer to feed from a hanging feeder. But Robins, Blackbirds, Thrushes and Wrens prefer to eat from a bird table or from the ground.

You can help to make wild birds feel safer by placing feeding stations close to shelter. This allows them some protection from predators such as cats and sparrow hawks. Wild birds are cautious and prefer to take cover in foliage before flying to the bird feeder.

Provide bird food on a bird table to encourage robins into your garden

What bird food should I put down to attract birds?

Most birds will eat most wild bird food you put out for them. But just like us, some breeds have different food preferences. A good tip, if you are not sure which wild bird breeds are feeding in your garden, is to stock a wide variety of food types.

Here is our guide to feeding different birds in your garden:

How to start feeding wild birds

If you are introducing wild bird feeding to your garden for the first time, here are some handy tips:

  • Only half fill the feeders to start with until you know the birds will visit.

  • If they don't visit, be patient. They will come in time.

  • Remove seeds that become wet, because birds won't feed from damp seeds.

  • Birds find food by sight, so scatter some on the ground beneath the feeder.

  • Do you have squirrels in the garden? Then feeding your wild bird food from a squirrel proof feeder will stop squirrels from taking all the food.

  • If you are looking to feed and support chick rearing our FeedR and BreedR range.

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.