do birds need fat balls in summer

Im fairly new to this bird feeding lark, only having started this winter gone. I just wanted to help the sole robin that visited our barren garden and now Ive got quite a variety of birds visiting. The more food I put out, the more birds I get, so Ive been really chuffed that my efforts are being appreciated.

Ive got sunflower & nijer seeds, peanuts, mealworms and fat balls – all in appropriate feeders.

My dilemma is the the fat balls and the fat filled coconut half – both of which have added bits and purchased from RSPB, which go down at a rapid rate at the moment. My husband thinks the birds are getting fat and I should stop feeding them the fat as thats only necessary during the winter months and Ill be doing more harm than good. Obviously harm is the last thing I want to do, but there isnt a bird in the garden that doesnt like to visit them, particularly the coconut shell. It seems a particular favourite of the woodpeckers and Id hate to lose them. But if it were the right thing to do, then of course Id take them down.

I have 4 fat balls in a hanging feeder on a feeding station – they last about a week. I have 5 fat balls in a hanging feeder, hanging from a tree branch – they last a couple of days and are being eaten by a squirrel mostly I think. I also have a coconut half hanging from a tree branch and thats lasting about a day and half – thats the favourite of the woodpecker.

Now the only bird I think is fat is a Magpie – and it eats everything, including cat sick!

I take the point on board about not putting them out so much in the summer as they may go rancid – but the weathers been quite awful up to now.

Ive got tits of all sorts, jays, woodpeckers, robins, magpies and others popping in and out all day and eating the fat.

Id like some advice from others as to what might be the right thing to do.

What Type of Food Should I Avoid Feeding Wild Birds In Summer?

Due to the potential choking hazard of large whole peanuts by juvenile birds these should not be fed directly from ground feeders or bird tables. Similarly, any hard food or food with larger chunks shouldn’t be fed. The best alternative is peanut granules which contain all the same nutrients, oils and fat as whole peanuts. You can feed peanuts if you want to, but make sure that they aren’t lose. The best way to do this is to use a good quality, mesh peanut feeder.

Suet can still be fed in the summer, but if you buy any of the softer suet or fat products, be cautious because the hot summer months can cause them to melt. In the warmer months, try to keep your suet somewhere cool.

Should I Feed Wild Birds In The Summer?

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the RSPB both advise feeding birds throughout the year. Keeping your garden stocked with food is crucial because birds have been known to travel up to five miles for food, and they rely heavily on it for their diet.

All birds have their own natural food – e. g. earthworms and beetles. Different weather conditions and activity in your area (e. g. construction projects) can significantly alter how easily accessible these food sources are. Therefore, it’s critical that we support wild birds by giving them access to readily available food sources. It really can make a huge difference!.

Your garden bird will definitely appreciate being fed in the Winter months, but what about Summer? You might be surprised to hear that it’s important to keep feeding birds throughout the year. This helps them out by giving them a place to feed in the event of food shortages or changes to the landscape around you.

It’s a fun and satisfying hobby to feed wild birds in our gardens, especially during this time of year when entire families will be congregating at your feeders. From the noisy starling families to the quiet ping-pong ball-shaped long-tailed tits

The BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) has conducted recent research that confirms our belief that providing food for birds aids in their recovery from habitat loss and predation. More than half of all wild bird species now feed in our gardens, according to the research, which has contributed to the slow recovery of bird species like the goldfinch. So let’s keep the good work going.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions we field during the summer.

do birds need fat balls in summer


When should you stop feeding fat balls to birds?

While fat balls can definitely be enjoyed by wild birds all year round, it’s important to be vigilant when putting out fat balls in the summer months, especially if the weather is particularly hot.

What should you feed birds in the summer?

The best food for bird tables When buying bird food, try to get a good mix of peanuts, seeds and live food like mealworms and waxworms.

Should you feed suet to birds in the summer?

Suet left out in hot weather can soften and foul birds’ plumage; or it can become rancid. It’s a good idea to take down suet feeders in warm weather. Raw or homemade suet should not be offered in the summer.

Is it OK to not feed birds in summer?

Most birds don’t need your help in the summer. When they are nesting and rearing their young, many birds focus on eating insects, so feeding is less necessary. It is also important for young birds to learn how to find naturally occurring foods, so take a break from filling feeders in summer.