In winter give the wild birds on your property a helping hand when it comes to finding food with these tips and recipes. They’ll love you for it and you’ll love seeing the bird life increase in your garden, this is especially helpful when we head into the warmer months and bug season arrives. Birds are great bug catchers.
To further enhance your garden and make it into a bird paradise, hang water baths, sugar feeders and plant native flowering trees and plants. Leaving areas of leaf litter around where bugs can hide will also attract birds who like to scratch around for creepy crawlies.
This list will give you the low down on which birds like which food, and theres a few easy to make recipes too.
* canary seed for the finches and sparrows
* peanuts for the sparrows and starlings
* off cuts of fat from the butchers for the wax eyes and sparrows
* apples for the blackbirds and wax eyes
* kiwifruit mainly for the wax eyes but also for the blackbirds
* bread (cut up small) for the sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, wax eyes and the occasional unwanted mynah bird
* sugar water for the Tui’s and wax eyes (the bees and ants also enjoy this)
Melt 1 cup of coconut oil. To that add 2 cups of rolled oats, 2 cups of bran, 1 cup of sugar and 5 cups of water. Pour into a roasting dish and place in freezer. As it freezes, cut it into pieces (it’s impossible to cut when completely frozen). Put pieces into an onion bag and hang it in a tree where you can see it.
Tui Sugar Water
Mix 1 cupful of sugar with a litre of water. Place in a red container on a bird table or hanging from a tree, and wait for the tui to come.
Simply melt some coconut oil, mixed with peanut butter and pour into it some wild-bird seed. Most supermarkets sell bird seed, although I find it’s a lot less expensive at bulk-bin stores like Bin Inn. Follow the directions for the wax-eye cake above for pouring and cutting
Wax-eye Photo Credit Boris Smokrovic