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Home > Haith's Wildlife Blog > Wildlife adventures with an iPhone - Creating two new bird diets for overwintering birds

Wildlife adventures with an iPhone - Creating two new bird diets for overwintering birds

Wednesday, 11th September 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like autumn out there. Birds are looking a little more purposeful in their search for food. The sudden drop in temperatures and dwindling daylight hours promotes a sense of urgency in the search for high-quality bird food. It's a good thing I could see this step-change coming and decided to introduce two new bird diets for overwintering wild birds. My birds certainly approve.
It all started in summer when we experienced a sudden change in the weather, and it was noticeable how much extra activity there was on the bird feeders with this sudden drop in temperature. Any chivalry between my garden birds dropped with the temperatures as polite queuing turned into shoulder barging and the early onset of bird feeder bullying. OK, perhaps 'bullying' is a little strong - let's say the birds seemed less patient with each other.

A sudden drop in temperature can trigger the need for more calories. That's something we birders all seem to agree on observing. However, upon watching the birds more closely, the thought occurred to me, that it's a delicate balance between maximum calories and maximum variety of species. My hypothesis: getting the balance of the blend exactly right between seed ingredients and energy is the key to offering an autumn/winter bird diet that's good for birds and great for birders. (Great for birders because that will attract the maximum number of birds).
 
Mixes performing well
[The above image shows the two new mixes as they were placed onto the bird table. The image below the two new bird diets shows what was left the next morning, and it was completely clear by the end of the day.]. 

Over the next few weeks, I experimented in my garden with several new mixes. I increased/decreased sunflower heart inclusion rates, introduced peanut granules, and eliminated some of the tiny seeds, and then I watched and observed bird activity. It wasn't a scientific study. However, I indeed found that offering a super-high-quality seed mix attracted a broader mix of garden birds than feeding, say, sunflower hearts on their own. That might not be the case in every garden, of course. But it was in mine.

I'm delighted to introduce the two new mixes, and I'll be feeding these throughout autumn and winter.

As the video shows and as I explain, I'm not going to feed lower-calorie mixes this season. Birds need high-quality food, and our job is to help them to arrive in spring in great shape for the breeding season. In other words, I want birds to consume much more energy than they use to land on a bird feeder. These birds will be overwintering in the UK, and I know we'll all do our best to help them and - importantly - enjoy watching their antics.
 

 

Within a few moments of putting the two feeders out, you'll see in this video below that the birds are back on the feeder within minutes.
 

 
TWO NEW SEED MIXES:

One for All™ - super- high-energy no mess seed mix

New: One mix for all seasons, for all feeding styles (seed feeder, bird table, ground), and all garden birds.
 
One for all montage of feeder empty

"One for all" is our new super-high-energy no mess, no waste, no husk, no grow mix for all seasons, all feeding styles, and all garden birds, especially Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Robins, Nuthatches, woodpeckers, Chaffinches, Wrens, and the declining population of House Sparrows.

One for all

In tests, this mix attracted a wider variety of bird species than feeding sunflower hearts when fed on their own and contains no millet, wheat, or cheap fillers.

2.5kg - £9.98
5kg - £16.99
5kg - £47.04
30kg (2 x 15kg bags) - £89.90

Winterberry™ - The high-energy mix for overwintering birds

New winter mix featuring high-fat berry pellets for extra energy
 
Winterberry montage of feeder empty

This overwintering mix is ideal for seed feeders but - as can be seen from the photos - works equally well on a bird table (and can be fed on the ground).

Winterberry

Our experts have formulated this unique mix. It contains high-energy sunflowers and berry flavour suet pellets with peanut granules to provide additional fat and calories essential for overwintering birds.

2.5kg - £8.99
5kg - £15.99
15kg - £45.99
30kg (2 x 15kg bags) - £88.90

These mixes will set your garden birds up to arrive in spring in great shape.

I'll be supplementing the two mixes with one or two suet offerings as temperatures drop further. I hope you spotted that many of our suet products are on sale?).

Until next week, enjoy all that nature has to offer. 

Simon

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