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If you feed the birds in your garden you will want to keep them happy with a regular supply so it’s important to know how often to refill your bird feeders.

Linnet Bird Feeder

If you have a lot of birds that visit your garden you may find bird feeders filled with popular foods such as sunflower hearts empty very quickly particularly if they do not have a large capacity.

Other more specialist foods, such as niger seed or suet pellets may last for a much longer period of time.

Ideally, you should refill your bird feeders as soon as they become empty because once birds have got used to the food source in your garden they will return for more.

If they only find empty bird feeders they will quickly move on to other gardens looking for new sources of food.

Keeping your bird feeders full will also attract more species of birds. Birds are naturally curious and if they see other birds feeding at the bird feeders in your garden they will soon join them.

Generally, birds will not eat food that is stale or has become spoiled so if you find that some bird feeders are not emptying as quickly as others fill them little and often. Old bird food can actually become toxic so by leaving food in your feeders for a number of weeks you could actually be doing more harm than good.

If you find that you are having to refill your feeders often here are some tips to help the food last longer:

Choose feeders with a larger capacity and put up more feeders with a diverse range of food.

Chose no-waste bird seed. Although the initial cost of no-waste bird seed will be more expensive birds will not have to pick away at he husks and therefore will eat less. No-waste bird seed means there will be less waste under your bird feeders which will help prevent pests such as rats and mice coming into your garden.

Make sure your bird feeders are squirrel proof. A cheeky squirrel can empty a bird feeder in a matter of hours, denying your garden birds their much needed nutrition.

Mix in some foods that take a bit longer to eat such as suet blocks, fat balls or seed cakes.

Add some natural food sources to your garden. Plant berry-bearing shrubs or plants to attract insects and leave the heads of sunflowers to dry for birds to eat.

If you leave your bird feeders empty for just a couple of days it should not affect the number of birds coming into your garden.

It will give you a chance to clean and disinfect your bird feeders and birds may spend some time finding other sources of food in your garden or even eating any food that has spilled on the ground.

Birds will not starve if you leave your feeders empty as they will go on the hunt for new food sources and once you start filling them again they should soon return to enjoy their regular source of food.

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