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Feeding Wild Birds

By 8th January 2017

Good morning from Glendoick! It’s a Scottish Winter so that means it’s wet and miserable. Why not bring some life to your garden by attracting some beautiful wild birds. This wee video will hopefully give you a bit more insight on what to do and how to do it

So by feeding the birds you’re obviously helping the environment, you're keeping wildlife alive and in the end also getting the benefit of getting to see the birds feed come to your garden and you know get to view them in and enjoy seeing them. Obviously if you've not tried to attract birds to your garden before you don't really know where to start, so that's what we're here to help with.

Birds don’t all like the same feeders so there are various different ones for different feeds and different types of birds. Birds such as Tits and Woodpeckers prefer a hanging feeder, you can get these to fit either seeds or peanuts.  Now, the real difference is the fact that the peanut viewers usually have small grated openings so the birds can just more peck at the peanuts rather than take a whole one and could tragically choke, it's a safety device more than anything.

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Robins and Dunnits prefer more of a base, such as a bird table to feed from so you've got to take that into consideration. Rather than having your feeder out in the open it's probably better to put your feeders towards hedging or bushes, just somewhere where the birds can you get a bit of shelter. If you’re using a ground-feeder obviously keep away from vegetation, for fear of the neighborhood cats because we all know what happens!

In the winter periods the birds need high energy feeds.  Our top three suggestions are:  Winter Warmer’s Seed Mix which is a high-energy mix. You can get that either ready to use feeder or you can get a bag variant for your own feeders if you already have some. Another high recommendation is Sunflower Hearts.  Now, the good thing about Sunflower Hearts is high-energy and they have more calories, more oils and they're generally softer and smaller so it's easier to eat for the birds.  The third recommendation is Suet, it is pretty much a vital and necessary feed for this time of year you can get them in various forms. You can get them in Suet-balls such as these value-pack of 25 and you can also get value packs of 150. You can also get it in the form of these wee feasts that can go into a feeder as well. You even get a mixture of suet and seed feeders that come various shapes and sizes for different needs.

Another good thing would be Mealworm as at this time of year there isn’t  really insect or bug life going about in the gardens and it’s a vital part of the birds food source and it’s relatively scarce so the birds will struggle. Spread this around somewhere just in wee handfuls and it will do a great good for them.

So once you've got your feed in your feeders you can simply go inside and relax in the warmth, have a nice hot beverage and just wait for your feathered friends to come along!  I hope that this has covered the basics and if you need any other information please check our website or just come in and talk to enter our friendly staff, we will be more than happy to help.

If you need any other information about bird food or any of the other things that we have been discussing on these videos, any aspect of gardening pop into Glendoick Garden Centre on the Perth, Dundee Road, visit our website www.glendoick.com and like us on Facebook where you'll get these videos every week when they come out."

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Ken Cox is the resident Small City, Big Personality Garden columnist and expert. Born in 1964 into a family of renowned plantsmen, Kenneth Cox is grandson of planthunter, writer and nurseryman Euan Cox and son of Peter Cox VMH. The three generations were and are considered  the world's leading experts on rhododendrons. 

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