Do you want to start your own wild bird feeding journey, but not sure where to begin? Sometimes choosing the right kit for your garden and the types of birds you want to attract can be confusing. We sit down with Millbrook Head of Buying, Dan, to talk through the equipment Emma is using in her garden.
Hi Dan. Which bird feeders would you recommend for beginners like Emma?
Henry Bell Complete 4 Arm Feeding Station, £39.99. For someone like Emma who is just starting out, this is ideal. Other than the feed it has everything needed to set up a brilliant station that a whole variety of birds will love. It comes complete with 4 feeders (Seed, Peanut, Fat Ball & Mealworm/Suet), mesh feeding tray and a water dish.
Henry Bell Feeding Station Patio Stand, £22.99. Emma’s station is located at the bottom of the garden on grass. We could hammer the station into the ground but as it may move later on so we have opted for a patio stand. It's very robust. For added stability you can use tent pegs.
Henry Bell Window Feeder, £9.99. Emma wished to bring the birds closer to the house. This feeder is clear with strong suction pads that stick to your chosen window (or other flat surface) and lets you enjoy seeing the birds feeding up close.
We know with wild birds a variety of food is key, but what are the best foods to try if you are just starting out?
Henry Bell Superior Seed Mix 1kg from £2.99* (£1 with a Millbrook Family Card in February)
The superior seed mix is packed with energy and nutrition and can be used throughout the entire year. With premium ingredients it’s tasty to a wide variety of birds with 50% of the seed mix designed to attract smaller garden birds. Suitable for ground feeding, bird tables and in feeders, it’s really versatile.
Henry Bell Peanuts 1kg from £5.99. A long time, traditional bird food, peanuts are a powerhouse of energy, are very nutrient rich and are loved by a wide variety of birds. The peanuts will be housed in the station supplied “Mesh” Peanut Feeder. This is important as you should never put out loose peanuts during the Spring and Summer as they can be a choking hazard to feeding chicks. Crushed peanuts can attract robins, dunnocks and wrens.
Henry Bell Mealworms 100g from £4.99. Mealworms are a highly nutritious protein source that are loved by robins and hugely popular with most garden birds. A year-round treat, but especially in Winter to aid survival and in Springtime to help the parent birds in caring for their young.
Henry Bell Fat Balls 6pk from £2.99. Our best-selling wild bird care feed! The reason for this? The birds love them. This staple feed is easy to use and highly nutritious, providing much-needed energy for garden birds all year round.
Anything else we need to think about, Dan?
Water. Many people put food out for birds, but fewer provide a regular supply of clean water. Birds need water for drinking and bathing especially in the Winter and Summer when water can be hard to find. A water dish is supplied with the feeding station but, like Emma, it’s good to also have other sources of water within the garden.
Cleaning. At this time of year with high levels of feeding, the feeders can become grubby quickly. Wash and spray regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent disease. I’m a big fan of West GM’s Bird Feeder Cleaning Brush (£3.99) and West GM’s Wild Bird Feeder Hygiene Spray (£9.99) to help with this.