Winter bird food in feeders: what can and cannot be given
We tell you what kind of food you can feed birds during the cold weather, and what to give is strictly contraindicated.
It can be difficult for birds to survive in the conditions of a cold Russian winter: there is very little natural food, and even it is difficult to find it under a thick layer of snow. Many people who are accustomed to taking care of our smaller brothers willingly help them, and this is already becoming a kind of family tradition – walking and feeding birds, designing feeders with their children, and scattering grains on the balcony or terrace. Today we decided to figure out how to feed the birds in the feeders in winter, and the table and expert advice will help us with this.
How can I feed the birds
Seeds Unroasted sunflower seeds can be an excellent reinforcement for birds. You can also give pre-dried seeds of watermelon and melon, pumpkin and even zucchini.
Cereals. Can birds be fed millet in winter? Not all experts advise doing this, but, most importantly, the cereal should be without the addition of oil and salt, sugar. It is much better to give the birds oats, rice, millet, barley, dense oatmeal (intended for long cooking) and hercules, as well as dried corn.
Meat and fat are an excellent source of fat, so necessary in the cold season. It is important to ensure that the products are raw and without the addition of salt and spices.
Nuts – walnuts, cedar, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts and others – must not be fried and without salt.
From fruits, you can treat feathered friends with apple slices and dried berries.
Blackbirds, bullfinches and waxwings, as well as some other forest birds, eagerly feed on berries of mountain ash, viburnum, bird cherry, hawthorn, cranberry and lingonberry that are pre-harvested and dried by a person.
For some insectivorous birds, boiled egg consumption will be good, because this product is a pure source of protein.
A good top dressing and an excellent source of calcium for all types of birds will be a shell from a chicken egg, and also regular chalk – they can also be put in a feeder.
In the forest or just outside the city, frequent visitors to feeders are tits, bullfinches, jays, mountain ash, nuthatch, sparrows, carduelis, waxwings, pikas, siskins and other wild birds. On the streets of the city magpies, crows, jackdaws and pigeons are added to them. Recently, ducks have also been wintering in city parks: experts explain this by a large number of feeding, but it should be remembered that ducks, like other birds, should never be given butter bread – this product has a negative effect on the digestive system, as a result of which animals die.
What you can not feed the birds in the winter in the trough?
Now we will deal with the prohibitions. So, the main thing that is banned and in no case should not appear in the menu of feathered friends is:
- Roasted and salted – seeds and nuts should be given only unprocessed and unroasted, and lard should only be in its pure form, be sure to add seasonings and spices, salt. "White death" is a direct poison for feathered friends, as their body is not able to process it, and therefore animals will certainly die.
- Rye flour products – brown bread and other derivatives can lead to gastrointestinal upset and animal death. In general, bread is not the best food for them, because, as a rule, it contains salt, sugar, and baker’s yeast. However, it is permissible to put a little crumbled dried white bread and crackers into the feeder, but they must always be fresh.
- Spicy and sour foods, all citrus fruits (and even their peel!) Are also prohibited.
- Any kind of cabbage, potatoes, onions, greens should not be included in the bird diet.
- Bananas and their peel can adversely affect the body of birds.
- Milk and all dairy products are also banned.
- Of the cereals, buckwheat, peas, and wheat groats can harm them.
- Sweet pastries and yeast bakery products are not allowed.
In addition, you cannot feed birds with expired and spoiled food – such food is not good not only for humans, but also for animals!
You will find a more detailed answer to the question of what is the best way to feed the birds in winter in the street and why, as well as the advice of an ornithologist biologist in the following video:
A little advice from ornithologists: some bird food (for example, crackers or a piece of bacon) should be hung from a branch on a tight rope so that birds can “peck” it, but do not drop or lose it, and also so that they do not swallow food too large for them in pieces.
As conclusions, we give a complete guide and advice of ornithologists in one table: