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Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom Gb

Birds again.

We are told these days to feed birds all year round but isn't there a risk they will rely on us to give them food rather than searching for themselves? My feeder is covered with sparrows, mostly young ones by the look of it.
Winter feeding I understand but not in summer, surely? What do you all think?



We’re feeding them now because the ground is so hard, making life difficult for the birds.

5 Aug, 2018


Here is some advice from the RSPB:

Do continue to feed your garden birds! Temporary food shortage can occur at almost any time of the year, and if this happens during the breeding season, extra food on your bird table can make a big difference to the survival of young.
• Do put out black sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, soaked sultanas, raisins and currants, mealworms, waxworms, mixes for insectivorous birds, good seed mixtures without loose peanuts.
• Do ensure there’s a good supply of clean water for drinking and bathing. A nice splash in some cool water
• Don’t use peanuts, fat and bread at this time, since these can be harmful if adult birds feed them to their nestlings. If you feel you must put out peanuts, only do so in suitable mesh feeders that will not allow sizeable pieces of peanuts to be taken, reducing the choking risk to chicks.
• Don’t put out home-made fat balls as these can go soft and rancid in warm summer weather, and should be avoided. Commercially produced fat bars are suitable for summer feeding but discard any remains after three weeks.
• Don’t leave food out too long and be sure to keep an eye on rotting food. Hygiene is extremely important when it comes to feeding your garden birds, especially in the summer.

5 Aug, 2018


You make a good point Arbuthnot. At this time of year, water is most critical. Live bugs & worms are important in their diet as well as the native seeds, nuts & berries. They eat all those pesky bugs we hate. There is plenty around. I keep 2 large pans of cool fresh water under the maple. It's like Grand Central Station. My feeder is just for the lean winter months.

5 Aug, 2018


I have a tame robin that comes down whenever I go into the garden. I feed him/her red maggots from the fishing shop. He/her is doing so well that they have produced a second brood of chicks. I have a small flock of gold finches but they have gone out into the countryside and I have been left with the fat wood pigeons and the hated magpies.

5 Aug, 2018


Thank you for all the interesting comments. I’d love to put out raisins etc Shirley, but I’m afraid we’ll get rats again. I think they breed in the unkempt house and garden next door. How I never noticed it when we bought this house I shall never know, not that the garden is visible even from upstairs as we’re set further back. I know from a neighbour how bad it is though. So, the poor birds and the hedgehogs that visit have to fend mostly for themselves.

Unless anyone has a good idea for putting out a variety of food that won’t attract vermin I shall have to stick just with the seeds.

6 Aug, 2018


Oh what a shame A, pleased to say I have never seen a live rat. I sat in the shade today for an hour, saw many birds bathing and/or drinking from a shallow dish placed on the grass. Goldfinches, Bluetits and a Greenfinch all took sunflower hearts from a feeder.

6 Aug, 2018

How do I say thanks?

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