Elaine Reed, passionate birding enthusiast, dear friend of GardenShop and endorsed supplier by BirdLife South Africa, shares her thoughts on the need to feed her garden birds…
Because I appreciate them and it feeds my soul.
The birds in my garden know me well and they complement my life when I walk into the garden every morning, carrying their daily dose of suet, fruit and seed.
Our beautiful fluffy Sparrows and Weavers are already chirping away at each other excited at my presence and they waste no time clutching onto the feeder to eat away at the scrumptious suet.
Made with top nutritious ingredients, with no cheap fillers, we have been producing our special suet meal for nearly 20 years. Most birds cannot resist pecking through our suet. The Cape Robin Chat, one of South Africa’s favourites, will always be seen hopping under the feeder snapping up tasty morsels generously dropped for him from the other feeding birds.
Go one further and offer your birds bird pudding and your sparky Robin Chat will even perch and feast off your feeder, as it is on the top of his list of favourite meals!
Some important pointers which I believe will enhance your birding pleasure throughout the year.
- Always feed your garden birds the best quality food which is more beneficial to their survival.
- Feeding throughout the year is essential. In winter to help them survive as their natural food source of insects, seed and fruits are in short supply. Feeding in spring and summer also helps them as food suppliers are short until the rains arrive. They also need that extra food source for energy to help in feeding and rearing their young.
- Always have fresh water available for drinking and bathing. This is one of the most important factors in helping birds survive.
- Nectar feeders help as an energy drink and also as a water feeder.
- The secret is to not overfeed. Feed early in the morning and within no time a variety of birds will be there pecking away.
- The feeders should be empty by evening, so not to encourage rats onto the feeders.
- Always wash your feeder keeping them clean to avoid any bacteria build up.
- It’s always best to keep feeders in the shade to avoid the food from decomposing quicker.
- Try and have multiple food sites to stop overcrowding in one area.
- Indigenous plants will attract a variety of birds to your garden including Sun birds, White eyes, Bulbuls, Barbets, Babblers, Boubou, Shrikes etc. Look out for new visitors.
So go and feed your soul and feed your birds. It’s one of the simple pleasures in my life and a rewarding past time after a busy day.