What do birds eat in autumn?
As the temperatures start to slowly decrease and our foliage starts to bear autumnal colours, our feathered friends begin to establish their winter-feeding grounds and scout our good bird food sources for the autumn and winter ahead. This is why it's important to know what to feed birds in autumn, to ensure they get much-needed nutrition to help them prepare for the cold and dark days that are approaching.
But what do birds actually eat in autumn?
Our first piece of advice for what to feed birds in autumn is that since they are on the lookout for high-energy foods, you should offer them bird food that includes:
High in fat content, groats are the perfect addition to any birdseed mix. Virtually dust-free, they help prevent respiratory problems while giving birds a fatty feast to keep them chirping and flittering around your gardens.
Quality Sunflower seeds are a perfect way to give your birds a boost of fat in their diets. Sunflower seeds are an excellent food source due to their high-fat content, and garden birds will be keen to stock up on them to give them a nutritious source to see them through their daily activities.
The kibbled maize makes it a lot easier for wild birds to digest than the whole grain. It is high in carbohydrates and oils, which are valuable for wild birds in the cold months of winter and the energetic months of the mating season.
Niger seeds are one of the favourite food sources for small-billed seed-eating birds. These nutritious seeds are high in oil and are a nutritious source of energy for backyard birds, which makes them one of the most popular types of bird seed.
These high-protein seeds provide birds with enough energy to build themselves up for the challenges that autumn holds in store for them. They are also ideal for those who are migrating and need enough energy to fly across the Channel, and those who are staying in the country will be actively finding a safe ‘base camp’ in which to shelter through the cold season.
Choosing bird feed to feed birds in autumn
Seasonal mixtures may seem similar when you compare the raw list of ingredients, but you will find that the percentage normally changes to accommodate the needs of the birds.
You can choose an all-rounder bird food mix, like our ‘Everyday Essentials’ or ‘Four Season Feast’. These are suitable for all seasons and are with popular garden birds, and our mixtures are expertly selected with our native UK garden visitors in mind.
Our Everyday Essential mix provides a balanced blend of all your garden friends' loved foods. Packed with goodness, it has a generous combination of fruit, nuts and seeds that will be a favourite amongst your garden visitors.
Four Season Feast
Our Four Season Feast does exactly what it says on the bag; it’s a balanced blend of 13 carefully selected ingredients that will keep the birds coming back for more. It’s an all-round, fuss-free feed that will go down a treat with both small and bigger billed birds.
Winter Wellness provides wild birds with a hearty mix of nuts and seeds that will keep your birds pleasantly plump and energised throughout the challenges that winter brings. This bird food ensures your garden birds receive filling and nutritious feed to help them get through the cold winter months!
If you are keen to attract a specific type of bird, there are specific mixes available for that. Our Robin Ready mix has a suitable selection of meaty mealworms, sunflower hearts and kibbled peanuts to match the demands of the characterful bird and their smaller beak.
Why we should feed our birds in autumn
Although natural food sources like insects and berries are still plentiful in the early autumn months, the birds that visit your feeders in autumn will recognise a well-stocked feeder as a reliable source of food for the upcoming months.
Once temperatures drop further, natural food sources will deplete quite quickly, and birds need to be ready. That’s when their sourcing in the early autumn months comes in. They will have noted where food was readily available and remember your feeders. When that cooler weather comes, they will show up chirpy and chattery and ready to feast on your food sources.
So, give your garden visitors a reason to keep returning with a well-stocked and plentiful bird feeder or table in your garden, which will ensure that they keep coming back throughout the autumn.
We have further advice to help ensure your garden birds, you and the whole family get the most out of bird feeding: