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Garden Bird Feeding Guide

Feeding the Birds - a look at the pros and cons of SEED vs FAT BALLS and some of the best value bird feeders on the market

Garden bird feeding isn’t just a hobby; it’s an activity that fosters a connection with nature while providing vital support to our avian neighbours. As urbanization and habitat loss continue to encroach upon natural spaces, offering food to garden birds becomes increasingly important for their survival. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and necessities of feeding garden birds, as well as the differences between seed feed and suet ball feed, along with their respective pros and cons. We have also handpicked some of the best bird feeders and bird food currently available on Amazon including some official RSPB Fat Balls (50 pack)

Benefits of Feeding Garden Birds:

  1. Supplemental Nutrition: Providing food for garden birds supplements their natural diet, especially during times when food sources may be scarce, such as winter or during breeding and nesting seasons. This helps birds maintain their energy levels and supports their overall health and well-being.
  2. Species Diversity: Bird feeders attract a variety of bird species, from colourful songbirds like finches and cardinals to industrious sparrows and charming chickadees. Feeding stations can transform your garden into a bustling hub of avian activity, enriching your outdoor experience and providing opportunities for birdwatching and appreciation.
  3. Conservation: Feeding garden birds contributes to conservation efforts by creating habitats and supporting local bird populations. In urban and suburban areas where natural habitats are limited, bird feeders serve as vital lifelines for birds, helping to sustain their populations and promote biodiversity.
  4. Educational Opportunities: Bird feeding offers educational opportunities for people of all ages, allowing them to learn about different bird species, their behaviours, and their dietary preferences. Observing birds at feeders can spark curiosity and appreciation for nature, fostering a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of ecosystems.

Recommended Starter Feeder Pack

A great value bird feeder starter pack is this TRIPLE SET from Amazon. It comes complete with THREE different tubular feeders. 1) For LARGE seeds and nuts like Peanuts 2) For SMALL seeds like a wild bird mix and 3) Fat Ball holder.

*Balanis is affiliated to the Amazon Associates Program. Commission may be earned on resulting sales

Seed Feed vs Fat Ball Feed:

Seed Feed:

Seed feed typically consists of a mix of seeds, such as sunflower seeds, millet, and nyjer seeds, tailored to attract a variety of bird species. Here are some pros and cons of using seed feed:

Pros:

  • Versatility: Seed feed attracts a wide range of bird species, making it suitable for feeding stations targeting diverse avian populations.
  • Cost-Effective: Seed feed is often more affordable than other types of bird feed, making it accessible to a broad audience of bird enthusiasts.
  • Customization: You can customize seed mixes to cater to specific bird species or preferences, such as offering nyjer seeds for finches or black oil sunflower seeds for a variety of birds.

Cons:

  • Waste: Seed feeders may attract unwanted visitors such as squirrels and rodents, leading to seed spillage and waste.
  • Weather Sensitivity: Seeds left in feeders may become moldy or spoiled during wet weather conditions, requiring regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • Selective Feeding: Some bird species may pick out their preferred seeds, leaving behind less desirable ones and potentially creating imbalance in the feeder.

Very Popular All Weather Seed Feeder

Amazon have a huge selection of good quality bird feeders. We’d selected this one because it ticks all the boxes with regard to design, quality, value for money and longevity.

Designed to brave the elements, this feeder boasts a weatherproof design, featuring a clear top cover that shields seeds from moisture, ensuring they stay dry regardless of the climate. Crafted from durable materials and equipped with built-in drainage holes, this feeder is built to last, providing long-term support for your feathered friends.

With functional compartments, this feeder allows you to diversify the seed offerings, attracting an even wider variety of birds to your garden. The main compartment generously accommodates up to 2.5lbs of seeds, providing ample sustenance for hungry visitors.

Refilling and cleaning this feeder couldn’t be easier. Simply lift the top lid or base for effortless access, allowing for quick and hassle-free refilling whenever needed. This user-friendly design ensures that maintaining your feeder is as simple as it is rewarding.

*Balanis is affiliated to the Amazon Associates Program. Commission may be earned on resulting sales

Super Value 5 Litre Bird Seed Mix

Crafted to cater to the nutritional needs of garden birds, our bird feed offers a nutrient-rich blend specially formulated with black sunflower seeds, cut maize, and white millet. This carefully crafted mixture provides essential nutrients that help sustain birds like robins through the harsh winter months, offering them a vital boost during times of scarcity.

Ideal for small garden birds such as sparrows, finches, and dunnocks, our birdseed is tailored to attract and nourish a diverse range of avian visitors. Whether it’s winter or summer, our all-season feeding solution serves as the perfect wild bird food for small birds year-round, ensuring they receive the sustenance they need to thrive. With a high protein content of 13%, our bird feed supports wild bird growth and vitality, promoting their overall health and well-being.

*Balanis is affiliated to the Amazon Associates Program. Commission may be earned on resulting sales

Suet Ball Feed:

Suet ball feed consists of solid blocks or balls made from rendered animal fat mixed with various ingredients such as seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. Here are the pros and cons of using suet ball feed:

Pros:

  • High Energy: Suet balls provide birds with a high-energy food source, particularly beneficial during colder months when birds require additional calories to maintain body heat.
  • Year-Round Feeding: Suet is less prone to spoilage than seed feed, making it suitable for year-round feeding, even in hot or wet weather conditions.
  • Attracts Insect-Eating Birds: Suet is particularly attractive to insect-eating birds such as woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees, providing them with essential protein and nutrients.

Cons:

  • Messy: Suet feeders can become messy, with suet melting and dripping in warm temperatures or attracting insects in hot weather.
  • Limited Species Attraction: While suet is highly appealing to certain bird species, it may not attract as wide a variety of birds as seed feed.
  • Storage and Handling: Suet can become rancid if not stored properly, requiring careful handling and storage to maintain freshness.

RSPB Fat Balls on Amazon

Amazon have an official RSPB shop selling all sorts of popular RSPB endorsed products. One of their most popular products is this RSPB Wild Bird Food Super Suet Fat Balls, – a big value bundle of 50 balls in a Box.

A very popular RSPB Fat Ball pack with 50 balls - great for all year bird feeding

*Balanis is affiliated to the Amazon Associates Program. Commission may be earned on resulting sales

Summary

Feeding garden birds offers numerous benefits for both birds and bird enthusiasts alike, fostering conservation, biodiversity, and a deeper connection with nature. Whether you opt for seed feed or suet ball feed, providing supplemental food to garden birds is a rewarding and fulfilling activity that enriches our outdoor spaces and supports avian populations in need. By understanding the differences between seed and suet feed and their respective pros and cons, you can create a bird-friendly environment that attracts a diverse array of feathered visitors to your garden.