Feeding Our Feathered Friends

Feeding Our Feathered Friends

Feeding the birds - bird-feeders can be an important source of food for our local bird species during the winter.

Feeding the birds

Many native and introduced bird species can be attracted to feeding stations in gardens around New Zealand. In order to provide the right food for them however, it is important to know what sort of food they naturally eat. Nectar, seeds, insects or a combination of foods.

The nectar-eaters

Tui, bellbirds and wax eyes all have a ‘sweet-tooth’ – figuratively speaking, that is! They love sipping the nectar from our native flowering plants. Over the winter we can supplement these natural sources by providing a nectar substitute such as sugar-water, or the syrup from canned fruit. These birds also love fresh fruit, and can be attracted easily to apples, oranges and even bananas! that have been hung or around the home and garden  using an apple / fruit / suet feeder (you can skewer these whole or in pieces on your feeder just make sure you cut some nicks in the skin of the fruit so they are able to get at the flesh) that can be purchased at Creative Woodcraft's online store. To make nectar water, mix half a cup of sugar with 500ml of hot water. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved and then put in the fridge to cool. If desired, add two drops of red food colouring, as this will help to attract the Tui (they love red!). Pour some of this mixture into a hanging feeder and place in a tree or on a post.

The seed-eaters

Greenfinches can be attracted to your garden by providing bird seed for them in a hanging feeder. You can buy special wild bird mixes from the supermarket (in the pet food aisle), although budgie seed is just as good – they’re not too fussy!

The insect-eaters

Insect-eating birds like fantails are a little more difficult to attract directly to bird-feeding stations. They can be drawn indirectly, however, to the small fruit flies that gather around pieces of apple or other fruit, hanging in apple / fruit / suet feeders, obtained from Creative Woodcraft's online store.

The ‘omnivores’

Sparrows are principally seed-eaters, but over time they have developed a more Omnivorous diet and will eat a wide variety of seeds, fruit, food scraps and insects. Similarly, while wax eyes are mostly nectar-feeders, they are also partial to certain fruit and food scraps, as are greenfinches. A great way to keep all these birds happy and healthy during the winter is to make a ‘bird pudding’. Bird puddings combine a lot of different ingredients that will provide valuable calories to help sustain our feathered friends over the colder months. Visit our website to view our great range of bird feeders and other garden accessories. All our items are individually handcrafted with love and care right here in New Zealand. Feeding & Bird Feeders - Creative Woodcraft NZ