Supplementary food types which you can use in your feeders:

Seed Mixes
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There are lots of different types of seeds on the market and the ones you choose will determine which birds you will attract. Buying a small bird mixture or high protein mixture will attract the most variety into the garden.

Seed feeders - can be hung from bird tables and feeders and can be a safer way for small birds to eat, as there are fewer threats from cats and they can hang better than larger birds can. They can attract birds like tits and finches.
Ground mesh feeders - will suit birds such as robins, blackbirds and thrushes.

Birds also love sunflower heads when they have gone to seed. Hang the heads by the stalks and they will enjoy eating the ripe seeds. They also appreciate thistle heads and lavender seeds, so don't dead head your lavender too soon!

Niger / Nyger Seeds
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Are oil rich high in protein seeds that little birds struggle to resist. If you serve this it will attract species such as goldfinches, siskins, greenfinches and redpolls. 

Dried Mealworms / Insects
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A great natural source of energy, fat and protein which the birds love and will never hang around for long on the bird table! They need to be placed on a flat feeder or specialist hanging feeder. Loved by many like blackbirds, tits, thrushes, wrens, dunnocks and especially robins.

During the breeding season you can get mini or mashed mealworms as whole dried mealworms can choke fledglings. Why not also soak them in water as another way to keep the birds hydrated?

Peanuts
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All garden birds like peanuts as they are high in energy and fat, but try not to feed them in the summer as they can get stuck in the throats of fledglings and juveniles. Place in a specialist wire peanut feeder but make sure to remove all packaging, including any plastic mesh bags, as these can harm the birds.

We have a stunning versatile nut feeder available in our shop.

Suet Treats and Fat Balls
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Suet treats are especially good in winter as they are rich in fat and protein, but they are suitable for use all year round. There are many different styles, from blocks to pellets which can be hung on their own or in feeders. These are easy to make yourself and the birds adore them. Why not have a go yourself

Fruit
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Chop up apples, pears etc. and either hang in wire feeders or put on flat feeders. You can also buy a special spike feeders to hold the fruit while the birds feed on them. We have a beautiful feeder like this available in our shop.

Dried fruit is a favourite too, especially with blackbirds and robins, as are seeds from melons. Fresh coconut is popular and the shell makes a great suet feeder afterwards. Never use desiccated coconut as this can swell in animals’ bellies and cause serious illness. 

Kitchen Scraps
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Bacon rind (chopped up small), over-ripe fruit and even leftovers from meals can supplement garden birds, but don’t use mouldy or spoiled foods. Be cautious with rice (cooked only, no dry) as it can carry infection.

Do not use bread – birds need food with high nutritional benefit and bread is bulky, fills up their bellies with ‘empty’ food and doesn’t give them nearly as much nutrition as they need in their busy lives.

Make your own
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Here are a few ideas to help you:

Why not take a photo of your creations?  Maybe you can get a shot of your birds enjoying them?  

We'd love to see your pictures!  Send them in to us at dawn-chorus@songbird-survival.org.uk