Really Wild Birdfood Co
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Mothering Sunday falls on 31st March this year when the birds will be in full springtime swing! To celebrate, we have teamed up with local artisan supplier The Bird Bakery to stock a new range of pretty bird cakes, made using our own home-grown seed mixes.

Perfect for your Mum's bird table - or indeed as gifts for other bird lovers in your life - these bird cakes will delight both the recipient and their birds equally.

The Heart Bird Seed Cake is filled with premium peanuts and sunflower hearts (packed with protein and essential oils) and the heart-shaped decoration contains a blend of other high-quality seeds to attract a wide range of garden birds including Robins, Finches, Blackbirds, Tits and Sparrows to name but a few.

mother's day

 

The Bird Seed Cake Slice is similar in content, except the mixed seeds make up the 'cake' and the peanuts and sunflower hearts make up the top layer, as an energy-rich 'frosting'!

new bird food product

 

The large Spring Wreath is a blend of seed, peanuts and sunflowers hearts, ready to be hung by its hessian bow or placed on a bird table.

Each of these items is adorned with paper roses for that extra special touch, without being toxic to birds and other wildlife.

We stock the Mini Bird Seed wreaths in boxes of eight. They are a mixed bag of three varieties - premium peanut and sunflower heart with a sprinkle of mixed seed, niger seed with a blend of mixed seed, and ultra-rich mixed seed blend - designed to attract a range of birds who will enjoy swinging away when hung with the natural jute string.

Each Bird Bakery item has a 3-month use-by date, although we recommend using within one month to be as fresh and tasty as possible.

See our Gift page for more ideas! https://www.reallywildbirdfood.co.uk/categories/gifts---offers/gifts

 

 

The official nesting season is defined as being 1st March to 31st July inclusive, so is well underway now. You may have noticed that farmers have finished hedge cutting, as it is illegal to disturb nests beyond 1st March, and you may also have seen squabbling birds fighting for territory. They may start to gather nesting materials in a likely spot, but these might not become occupied as it's usually just for practice, or to show off to a prospective mate.

With the possibility of another cold spell, it is recommended to continue with your high-energy Winter feeding until around mid-March. The birds still need to maintain Winter energy levels, and of course will need a boost for all the nest-building and showing off! 

Once things really start heating up into Spring, it is time to change your feeding routine.

  • Fat balls can easily go soft and rancid in the heat so should be avoided. Commercially made fat products are suitable for use in the summer, but may not be as popular and so any uneaten product should be discarded after three weeks. Our RWBF High Energy Fledgling mix (available from 1st April) contains MINI suet pellets, especially to reduce the choking risk for chicks while providing them with the sustenance they need.
  • Peanuts should only ever be fed from a mesh peanut feeder so that small chunks are taken back to the nest, reducing the choking risk. Seed mixes containing peanut granules are a good option.
  • Fruit such as raisins, sultanas, soft apples and pears cut in half, or even bananas and grapes can be fed.
  • Mealworms and 'buggy' treats are good to provide in case of natural insect shortages, such as during a cold or wet spell in Spring/Summer, or a particularly dry spell where earthworms cannot be picked out of the hard ground. 
  • If a lot of food is being left in Spring/Summer then reduce the amount given. It could be that there is plenty of natural food around - great! But it's best to minimise the amount of food left in and around feeders so as not to attract vermin and disease.
  • Consider helping the natural food sources - for example some plants are great at supporting caterpillars so you could grow the plant instead of providing the food itself, and let nature run its course. It need not be complicated - holly, ivy and nettles are popular!
  • Live foods such as live mealworms and waxworms are a good choice, to supplement the birds' natural diet.

'Your Bird Stories' vary greatly from garden to garden, and we love to help customers with their individual ornithological issues.

Emma Kenworthy of Fishguard had an issue with starlings. She has nothing against them personally (in fact they are in sharp decline along with many other species), it's just that they have a tendency to scare off the little birds from hanging feeders. So she sent us a great pic showing off her new ground feeder sanctuary, all arranged ready for the smaller birds to discover. The mesh sides are adjustable from 33mm to 58mm width, allowing you to choose which birds are excluded, or not.

On the ground in the middle is our Archway ground feeder. As well as the clear perspex roof keeping the rain off, it is also preventing starlings from getting at the seed on the very ends of the tray. A suet-filled half coconut is firmly attached to the roof, a Flutter Butter feeder at one end, facing inwards, and a hanging seed feeder right in the middle.

We think this set up looks fantastic, with a wide variety of feed to attract smaller birds. Hopefully they come flocking soon Mrs Kenworthy!

Browse Ground Feeders & Guardians

We love hearing our customers' tales of their garden birds when they phone or email to place an order.

Susan Thompson phoned recently, and we were pleased to hear that she had seen a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers in her garden, one of them possibly a juvenile. She was concerned that they seemed hungry but couldn't access the peanuts in her squirrel-proof peanut feeder, however, they had been feasting heartily on a suet-filled coconut and hadn't yet discovered the multiple suet block holder on the other side of the garden.

Susan sent us this snap of the woodpecker on the coconut feeder, with apologies for the condensation on the window making the image slightly unclear. Of course, if she had opened the window or stepped outside to take a photo then the subject would have flown off instantly. Bird photography is notoriously difficult! She is hoping to have better luck in the summer when she can sit outside quietly in a corner. 

woodpecker

Susan says that both woodpeckers continue to visit daily and they have now discovered the suet block holders, although the smaller one still loves tackling the suet-filled coconut feeders when he gets a chance amongst the starlings.  Her smaller birds don't get a look-in either when the starlings and jackdaws are around, so she has moved the coconuts away from the other seed and nut feeders, into a hedge, so they can feed in peace sometimes.  As a result, the greenfinches (nicknamed 'The Green Party with a majority rule' by Susan) - who previously dominated the seed feeders and wouldn't touch the coconuts - have found them and really enjoy swinging away.

The latest development is that some blackbirds, which Susan had never before seen feeding above the ground, are now using the coconuts - probably after watching the tits, greenfinches and starlings going mad for them. The empty coconut shells have now been filled with our Tidy Garden Suet Boost which is proving very popular. Susan says that one of the blackbirds is much more adept at getting a good grip on the coconut shells than the other one, who wobbles and flutters off and needs to modify its technique somewhat.

Susan's quest for a good photo continues... she says she missed a classic shot recently of the woodpecker feeding from a coconut with a blackbird queueing on one side and a robin on the other.

What a fantastic lot of garden activity in Cambridge. Keep up the good work Susan!

Buy a Coconut Feeder >

The stitching has a plain side - just straight stitches...

how to undo stitched bag

 

...and a complicated stitch line (with more cotton overlapping).

really wild bird food stitched bag

 

Have the straight, simple line of stitching towards you, and go to the right-hand side of the bag to the tail of the stitching...

multipurpose stitched bag

 

At the end of this tail you can undo one stitch (un-thread the single end of cotton through the last loop), you should then be able to pull the two cotton threads apart...

stitched bag

 

If this has worked correctly, the two threads should 'un-zip' across the bag - which is very satisfying! 

undoing stitched bag

stitched sack

 If you have any questions about our stitched bags, our bird food, or any of our other products, don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01489 896785

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Why I’m Buying a Window Feeder

Living in a small second-floor flat with my two children, there is hardly room to swing a cat, let alone have pets... So when I stumbled upon RWBF's range of window feeders I had a lightbulb moment - why not feed the wild birds and create a bit of excitement for the kids at the same time?

From my rooftop location, I regularly saw jackdaws and pigeons hanging around; neighbouring properties have house martin boxes, and I could hear flocks of smaller birds in the young trees in the car park over the road. Ideally, I wanted to feed the small birds and exclude the bigger 'usual suspects', but I was aware that I couldn't really pick and choose, and that the small birds would be far more shy about flying across the road to my living room window.

The road is not particularly busy but it does see a fair few bin lorries, being the back of the High Street, so I imagined that the noise and lack of shelter on my side would put them off somewhat. Nevertheless, my other windows are down a busy pedestrian alley where birds are less likely to go, and in rooms where we would be likely to miss the action, so the living room window it had to be! After divulging all this information to Sian at RWBF, she recommended the Droll Yankees 'Observer' window feeder - with a deep dish to hold a good amount of a variety of feed (seed, mealworms, suet, scraps) and a roof to keep the rain off and keep the larger birds out. 

Was the Window Feeder a Success?

Expectations were, of course, higher than reality. There I was expecting wild birds of all kinds to flock to the window as soon as I'd filled the feeder, but no such luck! So, stuck to the window the feeder sat, full of delicious RWBF Premium Finch Mix, day after day, week after week. I even scattered seed on the windowsill underneath to entice them over, and then I added dried mealworms too!  A couple of times, a pigeon ventured near - flapping around the feeder to get a good look, but not managing to land due to the feeder's roof.

The kids got excited and came to tell me, but I'd missed it. Another time, the house martins were out in force, feeding on the wing, swooping past my window so closely, but not at all interested in the feeder! This was the most bird action I'd seen in a good few months, so I decided to remove the roof from the feeder and see what happened. I figured I might as well feed the pigeons if they were the only interested parties!

So the roof came off, the seed got damp in the rain, but within days the pigeon managed to get a few mouthfuls whilst balancing precariously and flapping a lot on the feeder - much to the delight of the kids! However, I guess all this action quickly alerted the jackdaws (who love to stalk up and down along the opposite rooftop), as, within a short space of time, the pigeon has disappeared and the jackdaws have taken over. It seems to be a pair of them in particular, working together and taking it in turns to grab a mouthful and take it back over to the opposite rooftop where they pick through it to find their favourite bits!

So now my problem is not having zero birds to the feeder, but having the 'wrong' type of birds! Of course, any birds are better than none, for the kids' entertainment if nothing else, but now I'm worried that the small birds will never come as the jackdaws will scare them off, even if they did manage to cross the road eventually.

So, for the time being, I will leave the roof off the feeder and allow the jackdaws to have their fill, whilst they get more brazen by the day and eat more and more feed! But as the weather turns colder, I will strongly consider putting the roof back on to allow smaller birds a chance. Or is it time to 'branch out' and get additional window feeders for the smaller birds, perhaps on my other windows after all? Watch this space!

Buy Your Own Window Feeder >