October is when we expect a flurry of garden activity as many birds begin to prepare for winter.
So what can garden birds can I see from October?
This is a great time to watch out for Jays as they cache acorns or peanuts in the ground. Other crows will then follow them to steal the Jay’s hard earned treasure. Coal Tits will also stow smaller seeds for the colder parts of winter, including underneath roof tiles and in sheds.
Our winter thrushes will be arriving. Redwings can be heard sweeping over gardens at night as they migrate south. Fieldfares will be seen in more rural areas, but will move into gardens as fruits and seeds become scarce. Resident thrushes, like Song Thrush and Blackbird, will have their populations boosted by migrant birds, so our gardens will feel full of life soon enough.
Other birds arriving will be Goldcrests. They don’t use feeders often, preferring to stick to invertebrates in dense evergreen trees, but fat balls and suet cakes may be used during cold spells.
What to feed garden birds in October
- A year round feed is suitable for all seasons and all popular garden birds. Peckish Complete Seed Mix has 12 varieties of high energy seeds and nuts and will attract a wide range of birds. It also features our new paper packaging so you can feel even better about feeding the birds!
- If the weather is colder, put out some fat balls or suet cakes. These are high in energy and our Extra Goodness Balls feed twice as fast as standard balls, keeping birds fuelled for longer.
- Additionally, if you want a simple, convenient way to feed the birds, our Filled Feeders are pre-filled, ready to hang and can are refillable and reusable. Available in our Complete Seed Mix, Complete Energy Bites, Extra Goodness Energy Balls and Crumble Mix, Peanuts, Sunflower Hearts and Mealworm.
How to Feed
- You will know how much food to put out based on how much is left. If the food is taking days to be eaten, simply reduce the amount you put out
- Use several feeding stations to reduce the amount of birds feeding in one spot
- If you use a feeding table, make sure to keep it clean
- Use a ground feeding tray if you prefer to place food on the ground . Just remember to remove any leftover food before nightfall to prevent attracting unwanted visitors
- Avoid putting feeders under garden features where birds may perch or roost
Cleaning feeders and bird tables
Now that the trees and bushes have less food for birds to forage for themselves, we need to start filling up our bird feeders and helping our feathered friends with their search for food! Before you fill up bird feeders, remember hygiene! We don’t like eating off dirty plates, and neither do birds.
You should clean and wash your feeders and tables every two weeks to help prevent diseases.
- Clean feeders outside and use a brush solely for cleaning them
- Always wear rubber gloves as some diseases can affect humans too
- Empty the contents of the feeder and dispose
- Fill a bucket with hot water and scrub the feeder inside and out with a mild disinfectant (5% solution) and a cleaning brush
- Rinse the feeder with cold water and let it dry before filling back up
If you would like to learn more about understanding birds, in particular about changing bird populations visit the charity – British Trust for Ornithology (BTO)