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Feeding birds is a popular and rewarding activity for many nature lovers. A common questions we hear this time of year is “when to stop feeding birds in summer in the UK”, and we advise that you continue feeding them. This is because garden birds need lots of energy to take care of and nourish their chicks. This extra food will also energise them when foraging and moulting and will help fuel their busy lives!
Should You Stop Feeding Birds During the UK Summer?
When the summer arrives, there are certain things to keep in mind when feeding garden birds. Understanding what garden birds eat is crucial to their well-being since they must get all they need to support their natural feeding patterns to help them thrive in their environment. Below we explore the reasons to offer wild birds filler-free bird food, and we provide advice to ensure your garden birds get all they need to support them in the busy summer months. Summer is a busy time for garden birds, and the answer to the question "when to stop feeding birds in summer UK" is that you should be helping them with food as much in these busy months as in spring, autumn and winter.
Why Feeding UK Birds in Summer is Important
It’s best to keep an eye on the weather when feeding birds in the UK during the summer months and ensure your daily visitors have an ample food reserve when they need it, so they don’t get hungry! This is why having bird food on offer supports garden birds and will ensure your garden birds get all the nourishment they need!
As the temperature rises and nature flourishes, summer brings an abundance of natural food sources for birds, including insects, fruits, seeds, and nectar. But as the soil dries up and begins to crack, birds will often find it hard to dig up bugs and earthworms from the ground, and this is one of the most important food sources for softbilled birds like blackbirds and robins.
Serving Food for Their Needs
High-quality filler-free bird food is an excellent choice to attract a variety of bird species. You can opt for all-around mixed bird seed or choose straight bird foods like pinhead oats or sunflower hearts, which are popular among a wide range of UK garden birds. Or if you desire the presence of goldfinches in your garden, niger seeds are recommended.
High Protein Bird Food
Our Robin Ready Mix is a good addition to garden birds’ diet at any time of the year, but it offers a significant benefit in the summer months to keep them plump and energised!
The Summer Glow Mix is a high-energy birdseed blend that is packed with protein to strengthen the birds and keep them looking their best all summer long.
Our Four Season Feast bird food mix is a versatile all-rounder ideal for feeding large and small garden birds. This bird food will appeal to a wide range of wild garden birds, including finches, tits, sparrows, robins and blackbirds, and it is a superb addition to their feeding routine.
If you see many of the same bird species visiting your garden, offering them straight food will provide them with more of the food they love! It is ideal to offer them sunflower hearts, peanuts and niger seeds to ensure they get the energy and nutrition they require this time of year.
Sunflower hearts have their hard husks removed, making them perfect for smaller-billed birds (like blackbirds, robins, thrushes and wrens) to munch on.
Peanuts are enjoyed by most garden birds and offer them a well-rounded mix of energy, healthy fats and nutrition.
Niger seeds are rich in oils and protein; they are a popular choice for all garden birds but are especially loved by finches!
Kibbled foods are a great addition at this time of year because of the number of baby birds around, so crush any straight foods you are serving. You can soak sunflower hearts and crush peanuts before putting them out for the birds, which makes them easier for chicks to swallow. Niger seeds are small, easy to eat, and are one of the most sought-after foods for foraging birds.
Offering Birds Food From Your Kitchen
While offering your garden birds kitchen scraps is not a bad idea, be mindful that food can spoil quickly in hot weather. Also, try and keep offerings of bread and rice to a minimum because they don't provide much nutrition for birds, and they really need as much as they can get during this busy period! But since thrushes and tits are particularly fond of apples, grapes, pears, soaked raisins, and currants, you can chop these fruits and scatter them on a bird table or use a suet cage or apple feeder, and they will be very grateful of it!
Keep Your Bird Bath Topped Up With Fresh Water
Regularly top-up bird baths as they serve as a vital source of drinking and bathing water for birds, especially in the warm summer months. Remember that in hot weather, the water evaporates more rapidly and will require more frequent cleaning and refilling.
Bird Hygiene is as Important in the Summer Months
Maintaining bird food hygiene is crucial during the summer. Keep feeders clean and in shaded areas with plenty of visibility to prevent food spoilage and provide birds with a more comfortable feeding environment. Regularly check feeders for signs of mildew or mould.
Ensure your bird tables and feeders are cleaned regularly and remove old food that can attract bugs and spread diseases.
Bird baths also need to be cleaned and sterilised frequently to prevent the accumulation of algae and bacteria found in stagnant water.
With cats being more active during the summer, providing nearby retreats for birds is essential when they feel threatened.
Squirrels may also try to take advantage of the food you put out, so consider using squirrel-proof bird feeders to deter them.
Stop Squirrels Stealing Your Bird Food
If unwanted visitors become a problem, it may be necessary to pause bird feeding for a few days. Birds will find alternative food sources, and often the squirrels will stop returning and go elsewhere to seek nourishment. Once you reintroduce the feeders, the birds will promptly return.
If this doesn’t deter them and they keep returning, then a squirrel-resistant feeder is the ideal solution. We have a few different options to suit your garden’s needs:
Understanding When to Stop Feeding Birds in the Summer UK
Feeding birds during the summer helps keep them energised and healthy. But since so many other bird families are also searching for food during the daylight hours, we must offer them quality bird food to help them during the UK summer months. So, if you're still wondering when to stop feeding birds in summer UK - remember that feeding birds in your garden in the summer months also provides an excellent opportunity for you and your family to observe their activities as they fly around, feeding and raising their young.
If you have any questions on bird feeding at any time of year or would like advice on bird care, please check out our Wild Bird Help & Advice or have a look at our Wild Bird FAQ section.
If you would like to speak to one of our experts, you can send us a message, and we will be happy to help.