Would you have like a pet, but can’t for some reason? Maybe you or someone close to you has allergies. Perhaps you can’t have an animal because you travel frequently, can’t decide what pet you’d like or possibly you live in a place where animals are not allowed, or maybe, you just don’t want the commitment of owning an animal. Then how about considering wild birds for pets?
Wild birds love free food, and this is an easy way of inviting them into your garden or onto your deck. A cheap loaf of sliced bread can last up to a week if a couple of slices are thrown out every day. It’s best to get wholegrain bread as birds love the seeds. Soak the bread in some water as this is easier for the birds to digest. It also stops birds from grabbing a chunk of bread and flying away with it. After all, you want to be able to see the birds feeding.
Alternatively, you can buy a cheap bag of porridge. Birds love oats and will happily feast on these for ages. Most supermarkets sell cheap bird seed. You don’t need ‘wild’ bird seed. Canary or budgie seed is perfectly fine and is often cheaper than the wild bird seed. Some of the wild bird seed packets also contain radish seeds which the birds don’t seem to like, and the seed will start to sprout in your lawn. Check the ingredients on the packet to avoid radish seeds. The birds absolutely love the seeds. They enjoy looking for it among the short blades of grass and they spend longer in the garden looking for the seed than they do eating the bread. You can also mix seed with cold fat. The birds love this especially in the wintertime when they need plenty of energy during the cold days.
Don’t forget to give your birds water. A mounted birdbath is wonderful and will give the birds a feeling of safety. If they are too pricey, you could ask your children or grandchildren to put in and get one as a gift for you. Otherwise you could use a wide, shallow bowl. You’ll find the birds love a drink and they’ll often use it for a bath. The Blackbirds particularly love a bath, splashing water everywhere. They are hilarious!
If you feed your birds at the same time every day, they will start appearing in your garden before feeding time and wait for you, perched on branches or overhead electricity wires. They’ll get used to you and won’t fly away nervously when you stand at your window watching them. A variety of birds will start to visit – Sparrows, Blackbirds, Thrushes and Wax-eyes. In the Spring, they’ll bring their babies and you can watch them feeding their demanding, opened-mouthed chicks.
Wild birds are highly entertaining, bright-eyed, easy to feed and make wonderful friends.