Insects, slugs, snails, worms, caterpillars, spiders as well as fruiting trees, buds and seeding plants will offer a wide range of natural food sources. Think about ways you can offer these sources alongside any supplementary feeding.
Offering extra food such as peanuts, seed mixes and suet can be important for songbird and other small bird survival, especially in the colder months.
In winter natural food sources are scarce and supplementary food, both in gardens and throughout the wider countryside, is essential.
Click here for our full winter guide
It is proven that winter feeding can improve breeding success the next spring.
In spring, parent birds are rushing around making nests and finding natural foods (mainly insects) to feed their young. These adults will use the food you give them to fuel themselves during this hectic time.
Then, when the young have fledged, the adults will teach their offspring places to source food, and this will include your feeders.
During summer and autumn natural food sources are more abundant, so you will probably need to put less food out; but as soon as the colder weather returns, you will see your birds coming back to the feeders more often.