At this time of the year birds benefit from the food that many of us leave out for them in our gardens. If you're new to feeding the birds it's likely that a few hints as tips as to the type of food to leave out how and when to do so would be useful. 

Although it is obviously in winter when birds benefit most from the food it is actually important to leave food out all year as at different times different birds have varying needs. You can also try to attract particular types of birds by leaving out different food. For instance, robins like mealworms, whilst tits prefer peanuts. It is also the case that robins prefer to take their food off the ground where other birds (like tits) are mainly found on the feeders.

If you want to find out more about the different types of food and the particular birds that they attract then the following sites may be of use.

  • CJ Wildbird Foods provides a very useful chart showing the different foods that common garden birds prefer and the amount of food that each bird type wants broken down by month
  • The RSPB website provides a vast amount of advice on feeding the birds including the use of bird tables as well as feeders. Their site also contains some relevant hygiene advice too.

Remember that in the winter time you should also leave fresh water out in your garden for birds. When it is very cold many water sources may freeze overnight which can mean that birds go without unless someone has helpfully refreshed the water in their garden. You don't need a fancy bird bath – a bowl or dish will be more than sufficient for a thirsty bird on a cold morning.