Bird Food For Softbills
Many of the birds that are common to British gardens such as blackbirds, thrushes, robins and wrens are softbills and do not have a beak that is good for cracking seeds or dealing with the tough outer husks of some grains so if you feed your garden birds you will need to supply with them with specialist bird food.
Softbills are also prone to iron storage disease as they have trouble synthesizing this metal and accumulate it in the liver, impairing its filtering function. It is therefore important that food left out for softbills is low in iron.
By giving softbills their own source of bird food all year round you will encourage them into your garden and they may even set up a nest.
Softbills love fruit so chop up some pieces of apple for them or leave out some grapes or soaked dried fruit. Avoid citrus fruit and pineapple because of their high-iron content. Softbills will also eat grated cheese, bread crumbs and rice.
Insects are also popular with softbills so encourage them into your garden by planting berry bearing shrubs such as hawthorn, rowan, holly and honeysuckle. The softbills will also enjoy feasting on the fruits.
Softbills prefer to feed from the ground so use a ground bird feeder rather than a bird table. Make sure that your ground feeder is protected from predators and that it is near a shrub or a fence if the birds need to make a quick escape.
You can buy specialist food for softbills made from a mixture of wheat, barley, oats, maize and sultanas that has been specially pre-treated to make it easier for softbills to eat.
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