At Christmas time you'll probably find that you have a lot of extra kitchen waste particularly after Christmas dinner. During the winter birds will find that their natural sources of food are scarce, so feeding the birds in your garden is an ideal way to get rid of those Christmas leftovers.

Christmas Food For Birds

It is important that you know which foods you can feed to your birds and which foods you shouldn't.

Do feed:

Mince pies, Christmas pudding and Christmas cake are all full of fat, fruit and energy and are an ideal winter food for birds.

Roast potatoes are high in fat. Cut them into bite-sized chunks and leave on your bird table or in a ground feeder.

Mild cheese is full of energy and fat and can be grated or crumbled.

Use up the fat from your roasting tin by mixing with lard, suet, bird seed and other leftovers to make your own fat feeder.

Chopped apples and soaked dried fruit will be appreciated, particularly by blackbirds.

Unsalted nuts are ideal - crush or crumble them first. You can also put out any leftover finger food as long as it is unsalted.

Do not feed:

Leftover cooked meat is likely to attract cats and vermin which will scare away the birds.

Salted nuts and other savouries including crisps. Salt is very bad for birds and you shouldn't leave out any salted food for them. You can wash and soak peanuts to remove the salt.

Chocolate contains theobromine which is highly toxic to birds.

Shop-bought stuffing usually contains many artificial ingredients that can dehydrate birds.

Bread will expand in a bird's stomach and contains very little nutrients - it is important that birds are fed high-energy food.

Birds are unlikely to eat leftover cooked vegetables and they will rot if left in your garden and can attract rats and other vermin.

Whatever you choose to feed your birds at Christmas, ensure there is a fresh supply of clean drinking water. Even if you don't have a bird bath you can use an upturned dustbin lid or shallow roasting tray.

You may want to decorate a Christmas tree for your garden birds.

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