What to Feed Fledglings

What to Feed Fledglings

It’s that time of year to start thinking about feeding the droves of baby birds that will soon be visiting our gardens.

During the spring and early summer you’ll see fledglings from all species of birds around the UK, usually in small groups. It’s a great time of year to offer bird food, whether you’re just starting out or you are a regular feeder already.

Whilst it’s a common misconception that small birds cant judge the size of their meal and can choke of large pieces of food, it’s always a good idea to minimise this risk completely by offering out small seeds or suet products that can be pecked at.

Here are some of our recommendations for fledgling friendly, spring time bird foods:

 

Peanut Granules 

Peanut granules are the perfect size for fledglings and other small garden birds. They are aflatoxin-tested and a great source of fat and protein. They can be offered on their own or are perfect to mix with seed. As they won’t grow or sprout they’re also ideal for sprinkling on the ground for young ground feeding birds.

Note: the RSPB recommends avoiding whole peanuts during fledgling season.

 

Sunflower Heart Chips 

A smaller alternative to whole sunflower hearts, these sunflower heart chips are packed with the same healthy nutrients as their whole counterparts. Fledglings, as well as birds with small or soft beaks, can break through and digest them easier making them ideal for smaller birds.

 

Mini Suet Pellets 

Our new Mini Suet Pellets are designed especially with small birds and fledglings in mind. Our Mini Suet Pellets are 3mm wide and, at most, 10mm long; roughly the size of a sunflower seed. They are small enough to flow through tubular seed feeders and tray feeders and are suitable to use straight on the ground or on bird tables. They’re around 40% smaller than our regular sized pellets.

Our pellets are free from whole wheat grains – instead we use a blend of Wheat Flour, Oat Flour and Peanut Flour. Using wheat flour (rather than whole grains) can help to deter unwanted garden birds, like Pigeons, who typically look for food with large grains to fill up on.

Live Mealworms 

A fantastic, natural source of wild bird food packed with an abundance of fat (40%) and protein (over 40%). Live worms are ideal for encouraging natural feeding behaviour in all kinds of wild birds but especially for ground feeding birds like Robins, Blackbirds, Chaffinches, Wagtails, and Thrushes.

 

Dried Mealworms 

Dried mealworms are a fantastic feed for insectivorous wild birds such as Robins, Wrens, Tits, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. None of these popular visitors to your garden will be able to resist a bowl of mealworms on the bird table. Their high energy and protein levels make them ideal for fledgling birds who need all the energy they can get whilst they are still growing and strengthening their tiny wings and bodies.

Soak them in warm water for 30 minutes before you feed them to add in extra moisture and hydration for your garden birds.

 

Apples, Bananas, and Grapes 

The RSPB also recommends offering some soft fruits during the spring. Ripened apples, bananas, grapes and pears are suitable for a variety of garden birds and are high in natural sugars which will give your garden birds energy whilst breeding and moulting.

…And Don’t Forget About Hygiene 

We must not forget that feeder hygiene is extremely important at this time of year. Clean feeders help minimise the risk of bacteria growing and passing on harmful diseases to birds. It’s also important to keep an eye on the food you have in feeders or on the ground. Any food that has been out for more than a couple of weeks, especially in the warm weather, is likely to start moulding and should be binned and replaced.

Click here for our guide on how to keep your feeders clean