What to feed garden birds in summer

Birds can suffer food shortages all year round, and providing them with a little extra can make all the difference – especially when it comes to the survival of the young.

Here’s a handy guide to what to put out to for the birds in spring and summer, when they need high-protein foods. Feed the birds, and they might just visit next time you’re relaxing in the garden on your Charles Taylor garden furniture.

Peanuts

Peanuts can be used, but mesh feeders that prevent the removal of large chunks are best, as this helps to cut the risk of chicks choking on nuts – just as with human babies.

Fats

Fat balls should be used with caution, as they can go off during hot weather, thereby posing a risk to bird health. Shop-bought fat bars can be put out, as long you as dispose of any remaining food after a maximum of three weeks.

Fresh food

Pieces of fruit, such as apples, pears, grapes and bananas, are good food sources, as is grated cheese.

Dried food

Soaked raisins or other vine fruits, pinhead oats, seed mixtures without whole peanuts and black sunflower seeds will go down well with birds.

Worms

Mealworms and waxworms are an excellent food source for hungry birds, especially if the summer weather is particularly damp and cold, or very hot and dry. Such extreme conditions can cause food shortages, due to a decline in the numbers of earthworms and caterpillars.

Mixes and bars

Lastly, commercially produced summer seed mixes and food bars can be provided and offer great nutrition for your feathered friends.