If you put up a peanut feeder you will attract plenty of birds, especially tits. Many different types of feeder are available in metal and plastic. Some even have a ‘cage’ around them to protect the small birds from predators, such as sparrowhawks.
Hang peanut feeders from the birdtable or low tree branches. Feeders in trees can provide better protection for birds. If you want to deter squirrels, attach a plastic dome to the hanging string.
Winter and early spring is the most important time to feed birds, as this is when their natural food is scarce. Once you start feeding, don’t stop – birds will rely on the food you put out and make a special journey to your garden to fill up. A fruitless trip is a waste of time and energy, making survival even harder.
Feeding birds in the spring and summer may help them to raise their chicks more successfully. Remember, always put peanuts in a mesh feeder, as whole nuts can choke baby birds.
Don’t forget birds need to drink too, so put out a shallow dish of water.
It is important to clean your peanut feeder regularly to prevent a build up of debris, which can spread disease.
RSPB feeders, peanuts and bird food are available from our mail order catalogue and RSPB shops.
Poor quality peanuts can carry the aflatoxin fungus, which kills birds if they eat it. Make sure you buy peanuts that are guaranteed aflatoxin-free from a reputable supplier.