Wild Bird Care – Why?

Feeding garden birds has, for many years, been the starting point for many if not all of Britains active birdwatching community. The obvious attraction is wanting to help your avian friends through maybe a hard winter, proving food also can bring birds very close to allow observation of their plumage details and getting to know more about their daily lives.

Many observers are happy to put out general food to attract their regular garden visitors but you can also target certain species by providing their favourite food, it’s a great way of becoming familiar with birds you don’t normally see.

Never forget water. We do live in a wet country but the extremes of weather is a critical time for supplying water. During the rare hot spells, normal sources can dry up and of course, during very cold spells water is locked away as ice.

43%

43% of people in the UK with outdoor space will feed wild birds

64%

64% of early retirees aged between 65 and 74 feed wild birds

73%

73% feed birds because they enjoy seeing the birds in their garden

There are other ways you can care for your wild birds that allow closer observation that help them too. The single most important after food and water is providing safe and suitable nesting sites, usually in the form of wooden boxes. They are made commercially or designs are to be taken from the internet as a satisfying DIY project.

These days there are a host of bespoke types of boxes that will attract a wide range of species from the traditional Tit or Robin box to the more unusual Owls, Treecreepers or even House Martins and Swifts.

In recent years it’s not just garden birds that are getting supplementary feeding, farmers are supplementing the diet of our rapidly declining farmland species. Individuals are feeding wild birds in a variety of places. Country Parks, Nature Reserves even Churchyards. Nature Conservation organisations are supplementary feeding rare and localised birds to protect vulnerable species or populations. In the past 15 to 20 years these activities have become more mainstream as a result of there being less and less food available in the countryside.

Both Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and The British Trust for Ornithology (B.T.O) recommend feeding wild birds throughout the year. There are some provisos; feeders used repeatedly must be cleaned regularly. Populations of both Greenfinches and Chaffinches have suffered enormously from disease spread by unclean feeders or poor quality food.

All seed has to be of the appropriate quality. Poor quality food of any kind is as dangerous to birds as it is to humans. Feldy carefully selects their foodstuff of the highest quality materials, processed in our purpose built factory made with human food grade equipment made from stainless steel.

Hygienic feeder designs have improved the situation but keeping your feeders free of old food residues is of paramount importance when it comes to protecting your garden birds.

At Feldy we take feeding our garden birds seriously. Providing the best quality wild bird food possible in an ethical and affordable way is our ethos and the driving ambition when the company was formed.

It has become very popular to take packets of seed into the countryside for those who don’t have either the number or variety of birds they want to see into the countryside, use their car as a ‘hide’, put the seed on the ground and wait to see what comes along. It’s surprising how quickly the birds find it and once one is too and fro it attracts the others.

Feldy has been feeding some local farmland with Feldy brand sunflower hearts and after a few days, one or two Goldfinches found them within 6 weeks the numbers had grown to 20+ of this beautiful little Finch.

Low value can mean no value

Our quest to produce an unrivalled range of bespoke foods started with understanding some vital – but often ignored – elements of wild bird nutrition.

In particular, research was important in establishing the normal daily food intake of each wild bird and accurately matching this with its need for protein and energy.

This approach is totally different from the production of many wild bird foods which are simply assembled from low-value raw materials in order to meet a customer price requirement. Established research informs us that the average wild bird will eat approximately 30% of its body weight in food… every day! A Blue Tit, for example, weighs approximately 20 grams but will eat up to 6 or 7 grams per day. It’s critical, therefore, that every gram consumed must count rather than allow the bird to eat low-value foods which fill it up but fall woefully short of the nutrition needed… especially in Winter months.

That’s why FeldyFare Wild Bird Foods have learned from this research to develop products balanced for energy and protein.

Stats above from PFMA. The research was conducted by TNS in January 2017 with a sample of 2,000. PFMA is the principal trade body representing the UK pet food industry.

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