Bird Food

The main types of bird food are straight seeds such as black sunflower, seed mixes, peanuts, suet products and live foods such as mealworms.  

All the bird foods we supply from Vine House Farm are high quality. However, this is not the case with all bird foods on the market, and it's important to avoid cheap seed mixes which may appear good value but generally contain 'fillers' such as pulses and even broken-up dog biscuit! 

The same is also true of cheap suet products and in particular fat balls, with some containing very little fat but instead fillers including sawdust. Cheap peanuts should also be avoided. These types of low quality products have much less nutritional benefit to garden birds, can be very harmful, and may not be eaten anyway – instead just creating waste and potential disease as they rot down. So rule number one: only buy high quality bird food from a brand you can trust

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When should I feed the birds?

Year-round feeding of garden birds is now recommended, as even in more rural areas of the UK the level of natural foods, and notably invertebrates including flying insects,has dropped significantly. It’s really more a question of what you feed at certain times of the year and in what quantity - more info here.

Why do birds throw seeds out of a feeder?

The most common reason is that the food is poor quality and/or contains seeds and grains which birds will discard in the search for something better - this often happens with seed mixes which contain fillers such as wheat. However, some species of bird, and notably the Coal tit, have a habit of tossing out perfectly good seeds in the apparent search for one of the perfect size.

What should I not feed to wild birds?

Don’t feed wild birds in gardens with bread, cooked fat (e.g. from a joint of meat)or any foods which contain salt.

Why won't birds come to my feeder?

Assuming there are songbirds in your area, then the most common reason would be poor quality food - e.g. a cheap seed mix. It might also be that the feeder is too close to somewhere that puts the birds off - so perhaps next to a fence with a pavement on the other side which is busy with people passing.

Do birds remember where feeders are?

Yes - once birds have found a feeder they will normally return regularly as they remember where it is.

Can you overfeed wild birds?

No, as garden birds will only eat the food they need.

What time of day do birds feed?

Throughout daylight hours. Though garden birds are particularly active first thing in the morning as they search for food to replace the calories lost overnight during rest and sleep. This is especially the case after cold winter nights when birds use energy in order to keep warm.