In this cold season, many people want to do something for the bird world. Bird feeding is not biologically necessary. Only when there is frost and a closed snow cover, when there may be food shortages, there is nothing wrong with proper feeding. Studies show: Bird feeding in cities and villages benefits around 10 to 15 bird species. These include tits, finches, robins, and various thrushes.
Winter feeding is also useful for another reason: “People can watch the birds up close and even in the middle of the city. It brings people closer to the bird world, ”emphasizes Philip Foth, press spokesman for NABU Lower Saxony. The animals can be observed at close range at the feeding stations. Feeding is not only an experience of nature, it also conveys knowledge of the species. This is especially true for children and young people, who have less and less opportunity for their own observations and experiences in nature. Most committed conservationists started out as enthusiastic observers at the winter bird feeder.
Birds Have Different Tastes
NABU explains which food can be offered to feathered friends: “Sunflower seeds are suitable as basic food, which in case of doubt is eaten by almost all species. With unpeeled kernels, there is more waste, but the birds stay longer at their feeding place. Outdoor feed mixes also contain other seeds of different sizes that are preferred by different species, ”says Philip Foth. The most common grain-eaters at feeding places are titmice, finches, and sparrows. In Lower Saxony, soft-feed eaters such as robins, dunnock, blackbirds, and wrens also overwinter. “For them, you can offer raisins, fruit, oatmeal, and bran close to the ground. It is important to ensure that this food does not spoil, ”explains Foth.
Tits in particular also love mixtures of fat and seeds, which you can make yourself or buy as tit dumplings. “When buying meatballs and similar products, make sure that they are not wrapped in plastic nets, as is unfortunately often the case,” recommends Philip Foth. “Birds can get their legs entangled in it and seriously injure themselves.”
All seasoned and salted dishes are generally unsuitable as feed. Bread is also not recommended as it swells in birds’ stomachs.
NABU Recommends Feed Silos
In principle, NABU recommends a so-called feed silo for feeding, because the feed is protected from moisture and weathering in it. In addition, in the silo, unlike in the open bird feeders, contamination by bird droppings is prevented. If you still use an open bird feeder, you should clean it every day. In addition, no moisture should get into the feeder, otherwise, pathogens will spread. (Text: NABU)