Do it your­self… BIRD FEED­ERS

NZ House & Garden - Outdoor Living - - Overhead & Underfoot -

Help out feath­ered friends and en­joy their an­tics in your back­yard with a strate­gi­cally placed food source

Bird feed­ing is one of the eas­i­est ways to en­joy the wildlife and hav­ing a bird feeder is a sure way to en­cour­age birds to visit your back­yard. Dif­fer­ent types of feed­ers will at­tract dif­fer­ent birds – there are fruit feed­ers, nec­tar feed­ers, fat feed­ers and seed feed­ers. Fat, fruit and seeds can be mixed to­gether to make bird cakes.

Bread is fre­quently given to birds but it should not be the sole of­fer­ing as birds that eat mainly bread can suf­fer from se­ri­ous mal­nu­tri­tion. Never give birds honey, por­ridge, milk, co­conut or any­thing mouldy.

Com­mer­cial “wild bird mix” is likely to at­tract a wider range of bird species than sin­gle-seed va­ri­eties. Sugar wa­ter at­tracts the na­tive sil­ver­eye, bell­bird and tui. Make a sugar so­lu­tion of 1 part sugar to 4-5 parts wa­ter. Wellington eco­sanc­tu­ary Zealan­dia rec­om­mends us­ing brown sugar or raw sugar.

Po­si­tion your feeder out of reach of cats and dogs, and be pa­tient – it can take a while for birds to get used to feed­ing at a new spot. Keep up the food sup­ply in win­ter and early spring; birds usu­ally have enough to eat dur­ing other times of the year but may ap­pre­ci­ate a source of drink­ing wa­ter in a safe place.

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