Make your own garden bird feeder

Why not make your own garden bird feeder. It's a great way to encourage children to help their local birds. 

If you buy your bird food from Vine House Farm they donate 5% of every purchase made by a customer living in our area to BBOWT.

To order online visit Vine House Farm or telephone 01775 63020.

Providing natural food

Male blackbird perched in hawthorn bush surrounded by berries. Photo by BBOWT.

Listed below are some of the native plants that provide either berries or seeds for birds. Plant these in your garden to help attract birds.

Feeding garden birds

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Robin on bird table by David KilbeyRobin on bird table by David Kilbey

Garden birds welcome food throughout the year, and especially between October and April when many of their natural food sources are not available to them.

Once birds are used to feeding in your garden they will return again and again, so make sure you’re giving them the right foods for the time of year.

What to feed garden birds

Birds will also welcome a supply of water for drinking, bathing and preening. Put out a shallow dish with sloping sides and a slip-free bottom, and provide fresh water as needed. If the water freezes, melt ice with hot water only.

  • Birdseed mixtures can be bought from shops and bird-food suppliers. If you purchase your bird food from Vine House Farm, your local Wildlife Trust will recieve a percentage of the profits.
  • Unsalted peanuts provide an important source of fat for tits and greenfinches.
  • Fresh coconut shells can be hung from bird tables.
  • Apples are particularly popular with thrushes, blackbirds and starlings.
  • Mealworms are popular with robins and some insect-eating birds.
  • Other kitchen leftovers including cooked, unsalted rice, pastry, potatoes (baked, roasted and mashed), unsalted bacon rind and fat may also be provided.

How to feed garden birds

Bird feeders by David KilbeyAs different species of birds feed in different ways you need to use several feeding methods to allow all species access to the food you supply.

  • Feeders - seed mixtures and peanuts can be placed in hanging feeders on tree branches and bird tables. If you have problems with squirrels and larger, more aggressive birds, buy feeders that have been designed to allow only smaller birds access to the food.
  • Suspended - coconut shells and bacon rind can be suspended on string from trees and bird tables. These will attract birds such as tits, sparrows and finches.
  • Bird tables - bread, pastry and household leftovers can be placed on bird tables. These can be easily constructed or bought from suppliers. Make sure tables are placed far enough off the ground and away from hedges to prevent cats pouncing on the birds. Putting it near a small tree or bush can give birds a lookout point.
  • Ground feeding - Food can be placed directly on the ground to allow ground-feeding birds such as thrushes, dunnocks and pigeons to feed. Where neccessary, break food into small pieces to prevent larger birds dominating. Food should be scattered widely to allow all birds to feed without competition. Avoid leaving large amounts of food scattered on the ground overnight as this may attract rats.

How to make bird cake

Nick Baker shows us how to make bird cake. It's great fun and the birds in your garden will love it.

Watch video

Buy bird food from Vine House Farm

Feeding garden birds by northeastwildlife.co.uk

Vine House Farm is no ordinary bird food supplier. The farm is managed in a wildlife-friendly way and as much bird food as possible is grown in the local area and packaged on-site.

What’s more, 5% of every purchase made by a customer living in our area is donated to BBOWT.

To order online, visit the Vine House Farm website or telephone 01775 63020.

Help the bees

Bee by Gilliane Sills

Bumblebees and honey bees are declining in the UK, endangering the food chains that depend on them. We can all help reverse this trend.

Find out how