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This winter has been a really harsh one for the poor little garden birds that frequent our garden.  We’ve been feeding them throughout the winter, and have seen all sorts of surprise visitors lately.  During the Beast from the East we even saw a group of long-tailed tits, at our feeder – something we’ve never seen in our garden before.

What I’ve found is that feeding the birds is such a rewarding feeling.  Knowing that you are doing something positive for wildlife who are so threatened by a double whammy of both habit loss and climate change gives you a huge feel-good factor.

That being said, feeding the birds isn’t quite as straightforward as putting kitchen scraps on a bird table or putting a load of peanuts in a birdfeeder.  Certain foods can be harmful at certain times of the year, so it’s good to do a bit of research before you start feeding the birds.  Even if you’ve been feeding the birds for years, it’s also never too late to learn something new and make a positive difference.

Luckily, the experts at Kennedy Wild Bird Foods have put together a handy 12-month bird feeding guide to help you know what the best foods are to feed garden birds and when:

all year round bird feeding guide

Pretty handy stuff!

It’s also really important to regularly clean your garden bird feeder, to help minimise the spread of disease among wild birds.  Scientists say garden bird feeders are contributing to the spread of serious diseases among wild birds, causing previously rare illnesses to become epidemics in some populations.

The RSPB have offered useful advice on how to keep your bird feeders clean and healthy – from cleaning and washing your bird table and hanging feeders regularly using a 5% disinfectant solution, to moving feeding stations to a new area every month to prevent droppings accumulating underneath – there is a lot of solid advice that’s well worth a read.