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For the Birds

As natural habitats for native birds seem to be in decline, we all should help our feathered friends a little and feed them when they come into our gardens. But what should we give them to help them? We thought breadcrumbs were a good idea, but it turns out that actually it has very little nutritional value for them and can actually…well…err …’bung them up’. You can always buy various mixes of bird food of course, but there’re actually quite a few things that are either kitchen by-products, or you can make for yourself to save a bit of money ;-)

"I know there's a raisin in here somewhere!"

Oooh, pick and mix!

Improve your waistline

Do yourself a favour and don’t wolf down those left-over roasties when no-one’s watching! Put them out on your bird table instead. Any kind of potato product which has been made from fresh will do… boiled, baked or mash.

A nice bit of rice

Great for the birds but never raw…wouldn’t want them to explode on take off ;-)

Lovely Porridge

Raw – not cooked, as it gets sticky…Think what it does to your breakfast bowls and think of their beaks sticking together. Better to give them oats raw and some fresh water to make their own.

Tutti Frutti

Any kind of fruit cut up and put out for them will be most welcome. Dried fruit is good soaked in water so they can help themselves to just the right amount.


Birds love breakfast ingredients too!

Tasty pastry

Cooked or raw, the birds will love it… yummy

Fatty balls

These are really easy to make and you can put these in old close netting bags or buy an apple or fat holder. Some good old saturated fat like suet or lard is best, one third to two thirds of dry ingredients which might be cake, dried fruit, seeds, uncooked oatmeal, chopped nuts, chopped up cheese.

Long-tailed tits

Somewhat popular…

Must be avoided

  • Nothing salty, so no ham, bacon or cured meat like pepperoni or salami.
  • Dried lentils or other pulses as they’ll swell up in their guts and might actually kill them
  • Desiccated coconut – although they love fresh coconut
  • Salted nuts – although chopped or crushed unsalted nuts are great
  • Uncooked rice –swells up
  • Cooked porridge – can gum up their beaks