It is important to note that

In the summer no bird flies south. After all, it is warm enough in this country at this time of year and there is enough food – right? However, the death of insects causes problems for local birds in their search for food. Should animals also be fed in summer?

There is no doubt that providing birds with proper food during the winter can help them. Many also want to help the animals in the summer, so they diligently fill the feeders and birdhouses. If you think that during this time not only more birds fly through home gardens, but also an increased need for food due to brooding, then feeding the birds in the summer is quite logical. However, there are also some arguments against it. myHOMEBOOK asked Martin Rommler of the German Union for the Conservation of Nature (NABO) what he was talking about for or against.

Insect death has consequences for birds

Animals are sometimes more and sometimes less successful in their search for food. Rather, food sources are supposed to fluctuate in nature – be they plant or animal. In this way, the ecosystem remains in equilibrium. However, the case is that humans have a significant impact on their environment. By cultivating farmland and gardens, we directly determine what, where and how much to grow. Exotic plants are becoming increasingly popular in local gardens. However, native fauna such as insects depend on the native flora.

Anyone who thinks that you can do without locusts and partners is mistaken. In an ecosystem, the individual components depend on each other. For example, birds are directly affected when there are fewer insects. After all, in addition to berries and seeds, they largely feed on mosquitoes, butterflies and aphids. One pair of large tits can eat between 35 and 75 kilograms of insects per year.

Also interesting: Insect-friendly gardening – expert gives valuable advice

This is about summer nutrition

Adult birds are especially dependent on insects for raising their young. Adult birds have a lot to do in the spring and summer. Then there are a lot of beaks hungry for things. According to the expert, if the birds are also fed during this time, then it is easier for the parents to get enough food. “The rare insect prey can then be fed to young birds,” Rummler explains. Moreover: “Even young birds that live alone for the first time have a better chance of surviving thanks to food.”

What speaks against feeding birds in summer

Depending on the season, animals need different feeders. While a high-fat ball of lard is the right thing in the winter, it’s just as bad in the summer. And, of course, adults feed their young low-fat insects. Thus, high-fat winter feed will be harmful not only to parents, but also to young birds and young birds. “The young ones need an insect food rich in protein for their development,” Rommler says.

Another point against feeding in the summer is that large grains, seeds and nuts can also be fed to small birds. On the other hand, there is a danger of suffocation of animals. “In addition, sunflower seeds and peanuts can lead to fatal intestinal obstruction,” says the Naboo expert. In addition, infection can be transmitted more easily in summer, especially in places where there are many animals: “The density of birds and the high temperature contribute to the reproduction of pathogens and the spread of bird diseases in places of summer feeding,” Rummler explains. .

Feeding birds in summer: this is something to keep in mind

Although there are many arguments against feeding birds in the summer, the problems can be addressed relatively easily. According to the expert, there is a possibility, for example, to offer young seeds and, above all, a protein-rich insect food for the young instead of greasy winter food. Rommler lists “nettle, birch, flax, thistle, banana, and various weed seeds are suitable for this.” These mixtures are often commercially available as food for forest birds.

If you also want to feed insects to animals, according to a bird protection expert, you should not use mealworms and dry crickets. These foods are not only high in fat, but also high in salt. Both should be avoided in summer. “Live and freshly dead or thawed insects are best,” Rummler says. However, it is especially important to pay attention to hygiene. Therefore, the cage and the feeder should be cleaned regularly. “However, if illnesses or deaths occur at the feeding station, you should stop feeding for a few weeks,” the bird expert recommends. This can prevent the spread of the pathogen.

Also interesting: what to do if a bird falls out of the nest

More tips to help birds

Although feeding the birds in the summer – with the right food – can be a relief to the animals, you help the birds even more if you create a nature garden. This way, blackbirds, pirates and robots can forage on their own – as they should be. Expert advises that “for a bird-friendly garden, wild perennials are suitable.” Conversely, a greater variety of native plants also means more insects feeding on plant nectar, for example. These in turn are the ideal food source for both adult and young birds in summer.

Native hedge plants also provide a habitat for various insect species as well as nesting and hiding places for birds. Forms with filled flowers, that is, sterile, should be avoided. “These have little to no pollen in them,” Rummler explains. It is also important not to use any pesticides. Not only are these harmful to the environment, but they also eliminate the food source for feathered animals.

Hobby growers tend to arrange their own garden. “However, fallen leaves, timber, dead wood, wild grass in the lawn and faded plants should be left in place for a bird-friendly garden.” Rümmel encourages you to let clutter into the garden from time to time.

More Tips: How to Make a Garden Bird Friendly?

Other bird-friendly measures include:

  • nesting aid
  • bird bath
  • Cover the fronts of large windows against bird strikes
  • Insect sand spots and bird sand baths
  • Mud Ponds (for Swallows)

Leave a Comment