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What to Feed Birds During Autumn in the UK: A Guide to Nourishing our Feathered Friends

by Rachel Davis 09 Oct 2023

Robin on a branch in a UK garden

As autumn paints the UK landscape with vibrant hues of orange and red, it's not just the trees that undergo a transformation. Our feathered friends also prepare for the colder months ahead, and providing them with the right nourishment becomes essential. In this guide, we'll explore what to feed UK birds during autumn, with a special focus on their dietary needs and how to keep them safe from predators.


Understanding the Autumn Dietary Needs of Birds in the UK

Autumn marks a crucial period for birds in the UK as they gear up for the colder months. During this season, they require high-energy foods to fuel their migration or sustain them through the harsh winter conditions. Here are some of the best foods to offer to your avian visitors:

  1. Seeds: Many UK birds adore seeds. Sunflower seeds, in particular, are a favourite for a variety of species, including finches and sparrows. Consider investing in a bird feeder filled with a mix of seeds, which can attract a diverse range of birds to your garden.

  2. Nuts: Peanuts are a hit with many UK birds, such as blue tits and great tits. Make sure to use unsalted, unroasted peanuts, as salt and additives can be harmful to them. You can also hang nut feeders to keep these snacks safe from squirrels.

  3. Fruits: Offer a selection of fruits like apples, pears, and berries. These can be particularly appealing to thrushes, blackbirds, and robins. Sliced or chopped fruit can be placed on bird tables or ground feeders.

  4. Mealworms: Mealworms are a protein-packed delight for birds like robins, wrens, and starlings. They provide essential nutrients, especially when other food sources are scarce.

  5. Insects: Some species, such as blue tits and coal tits, rely heavily on insects. To mimic their natural diet, consider putting out mealworms, dried insects, or insect-based suet pellets.

The Jake's Farm Yard Winter Bird Food contains a healthy mix of nutrients that are great for keeping wild birds fed during the colder months.


Safe Feeding Practices for Birds in the UK

Bird Feeder in a UK garden

Feeding birds during autumn is a rewarding activity, but it's essential to do it safely. Here's how you can protect our feathered friends from predators while ensuring their well-being:

  1. Choose Safe Bird Feeders: Opt for bird feeders with mechanisms that deter squirrels and larger birds. Tube feeders with perches designed for smaller birds are ideal for keeping predators at bay.

  2. Regular Cleaning: Clean your bird feeders and feeding areas regularly to prevent the spread of diseases. Use a mild disinfectant and rinse thoroughly. Most of the Jake's Farm Yard collection of bird feeders come with removable feeding trays to allow easy cleaning of the feeding area.

  3. Height Matters: Place bird feeders at a height that is safe from ground predators like cats. Ideally, they should be around 4-5 feet above the ground. The Jake's Farm Yard Bird Feeder with Mounting Pole allows the food to sit roughly 4.5 feet from the ground.

  4. Strategic Placement: Position your feeders near trees or shrubs, giving birds a quick escape route if they sense danger. Most of the Jake's Farm Yard collection of bird feeders can be wall or tree-mounted with just a few screws.

Feeding birds during autumn is an act of kindness that can make a significant difference in their survival during the challenging months ahead. By providing the right foods and taking steps to protect them from predators, you can create a safe haven for our feathered friends in your own garden. So, fill up those bird feeders, offer a variety of nourishing treats, and enjoy the delightful sights and sounds of autumn as you help sustain the beauty of British birdlife.

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