Water is essential for bathing and drinking throughout the year. Provide water in a shallow container, preferably with sloping sides and no more than 5cm (2in) deep. During frosty weather, remove the ice so birds can continue to have access to water.
Use different foods and recipes to entice a range of birds. Although fat is important, do also provide a grain mix or nuts to maintain a balanced diet. No-mess seed mixes are more expensive but the inclusion of de-husked sunflower hearts means there is less waste and debris under the feeder. Inferior mixes are often padded out with lentils and wheat.
Many birds have ‘favourite’ foods, so choosing certain types can effect what you see feeding in the garden. These are just some of the preferences:
A selection of birdboxes. Credit: RHS/Advisory.