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About two thirds of all households in Britain feed their garden birds at some stage of the year. Follow these simple tips and after a short time you should be attracting more birds and different species.

Great Tit At Bird Feeder

1. Use a bird table for putting out kitchen scraps such as animal fats, grated cheese, over ripe fruit and soaked dried fruit, rice, bread crumbs and non-salty bacon. You can also put out nuts and high calorie seed mixes. Avoid putting out raw meat and vegetables which birds will find difficult to digest and which can attract pests.

2. Hang bird feeders filled with black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes and unsalted peanuts.

3. If the food takes a few days to clear from your bird table or the ground then reduce the amount of food offered so it does not go off.

4. Place your feeders and bird table no more than 2 metres from a shrub, fence or tree so the birds have somewhere to escape to if threatened by predators.

5. Fat blocks or fat rubbed into the barks of trees will attract many species including wrens, treecreepers, goldcrests and woodpeckers.

6. Make sure you clean your bird table and bird feeders regularly to ensure food particles and droppings do not build up. This will minimize the risk of disease.

7. Berry-bearing trees and shrubs such as hawthorn, rowan, holly, honeysuckle and ivy will not only provide fruit for birds to feed on but they will also provide somewhere for them to shelter and nest and attract insects for the birds to eat.

8. Cultivated and wild flowering plants such as sunflowers, evening primrose, teasel and shepherd's purse provide seeds and will attract insects. Leave the stems long to give shelter in the winter and then cut down early in the spring.

9. Let your lawn grow slightly longer. If possible leave areas of grass at different heights to optimise food potential for birds. Leave a patch of long grass in the winter for shelter.

10. Put out a fresh supply of water every day - use a large dish, an upturned dustbin lid, a bird bath or you could even build a pond if you have the space. If it is very cold use tepid water but do not add antifreeze or any other additives.

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