Metal can become stuck to birds’ feet during cold weather causing the flesh to tear. Avoid metal on seed and suet feeders, using plastic-coated products instead. If you make a feeder from a hard plastic container, make sure you bind the edges with tape.
Birds don’t have teeth to chew their food, instead their powerful gizzard grinds seeds, nuts, and berries. But they need grit to help them with digestion. You can supply it by putting out packaged canary grit, finely ground egg shells, very fine gravel, or clean sand.
Limit the use of bakery products (bread, muffins, etc.). They are low in nutrient value and can cause malnutrition in birds who eat them too often.
Peanut butter warning. Many books list peanut butter as an appropriate food for birds. However, because it is so sticky they can choke on it. If you use it (and we do not recommend it), mix it half and half with wheat germ or melted beef fat. Too much peanut butter can also cause health problems for birds.
Kinds of food
Seed: There are many types of seed available, and certain birds prefer specific seeds. A list of birds and their seed preferences is provided below. The most popular seed is sunflower, both striped and black-oil type. Mixed seeds are also popular with feeder enthusiasts, but depending on the type of seed mix, much of it may be wasted. It’s best to buy a good quality mix from a store specializing in bird feeding. Thistle or nyger seeds are favourites of finches, especially goldfinches and redpolls, and white proso millet is also highly palatable to many birds.
Fruit: If you put out soaked dried fruit and fresh fruit such as currants, cranberries, oranges, and berries, you’ll attract birds that don’t often come to feeders – like robins.