Why it’s so important to feed birds in the spring

The winter may be behind us, but wild birds still appreciate extra food rations. These animals continue to rely heavily on our help during the spring.

When the temperatures drop to below freezing and a thick blanket of snow hampers the search for food, many animal lovers help out native birds by providing them with extra food rations throughout the winter. With the temperatures finally on the up again, this support disappears. Most people presume that the birds are now able to find sufficient food in the wild and the bird feeder is relegated to the cellar until next winter.

However, the problems of finding food do not suddenly disappear with the melting snow. On the contrary, spring is a particularly difficult time for our feathered friends as they need more energy than ever at this time of year. Birds awaken much earlier than in winter and the number of hours during which they are active increases significantly. In the spring, birds have to defend their patch, find a partner and breeding ground, build a nest and subsequently breed and rear their young. All this means that during the warmer months, wild birds need even more energy than in the winter.

Significantly restricted habitat

In the wild, it is almost impossible for these animals to get the energy they need for their spring “to-do” list. Owing to the lack of natural habitats in built-up areas, wild birds are now having to expend much more energy searching for food compared to several decades ago. Increased urbanisation,
partial cultivation and agricultural areas are dramatically restricting the birds’ habitats – and thus their food supply – both in the city and in rural areas. Disputed for a long time by experts, the year-round feeding of birds is now seen as a necessary and important move towards species protection. In fact, half of the bird species we counted are already on “red lists”. Anyone who helps feed these birds is helping to ensure their survival.

However, it is important that the food given is appropriate to the species and adapted to suit the time of year. For instance, the fat and energy-rich winter bird feed is no longer suitable in the spring. By springtime, the birds need food containing calcium carbonate and protein, and in the summer, their food should contain a large amount of protein. The various seasonal bird feeds can be found in store. If you want to play it safe, chopped peanut kernels, dried mealworms and ready-made protein mixes are a good year-round energy source.

Animal lovers should make sure that they buy premium quality bird feed. Generally speaking, this is not only better from a nutritional standpoint, but it is usually also already husked and sorted. You are therefore not buying and paying for the useless husks. With sorted bird feed, you are also less likely to introduce undesirable weed seeds into your garden.

Online tip
For more information on birds, go to www.fressnapf.de/ratgeber-voegel

Call into your local store today to discuss your bird’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts