June and July are pivotal months in the wild bird calendar, with baby birds growing from nestlings to fledglings. Gardens across the country will fill up with the next generation of all kinds of wild bird species, all leaving the safety of their nest for the first time. In this important season, Henry Bell & Co – the leading quality wild bird and pet food producer – shares its advice on how you can help fledgling birds this summer.
How to help fledgling birds this summer, by Henry Bell Wild Bird Care
- Identifying nestlings vs. fledglings: Nestling birds have yet to fully develop their feathers and are incapable of flight. Fledglings, on the other hand, look fluffy and unkempt with fully formed wing and tail feathers that appear too short, meaning they are close to being able to fly.
- Seeing a fledgling in need of help: Fledglings can often be found on the ground and while it is tempting to intervene to help, it is best not to. In most cases the baby birds are still being fed by their parents who will likely be nearby, even if you can’t see them. If you are genuinely concerned about a fledgling and have observed them from a distance for a prolonged period, contact a local wildlife organisation or the RSPCA.
- Providing water for fledglings: As always, provide plenty of water in your garden for fledgling birds by placing it in your bird bath or dish every day.
- Feeding fledglings: Baby birds greatly benefit from rich protein sources like mealworms, which particularly help in their growth. Henry Bell offers mealworms in 100g (RRP £3.99), 500g (RRP £9.99) and 1kg (RRP £19.99). A highly nutritious protein snack, mealworms can be enjoyed from the ground, the bird table or bird feeder all year round.
- Supplementing fledglings’ diets: For a balanced diet, you can also provide a seed mix to ensure fledglings get the nutrient rich supplements they need. Henry Bell’s Superior Seed Mix (RRP £1.99 for 1kg) is a unique blend that is packed with energy and nutrition to keep wild birds fuelled up, no matter the season.
- Being careful with peanuts: The most important thing at this time of year is to put peanuts in a rigid mesh feeder. This is because peanuts can be harmful if adult birds feed them to their nestlings or fledglings, as large nut pieces can choke baby birds. The same goes for fat and bread. Putting wild bird food into feeders allows the right sized pieces of food to be taken to their offspring – such as Henry Bell’s range of Peanut Feeders which start from RRP £3. 99.
- Dealing with garden pests: If you get tiny pests such as aphids on your plants, it is best to avoid spraying with pesticides as these will also kill ladybirds and other helpful insects that birds will eat. If greenfly or aphids become a real concern, you can wash them off with a diluted solution of washing-up liquid.
Henry Bell & Co is a fourth-generation family-owned British business that has been producing high quality wild bird and animal foods for a number of years. The company launched its own range in 2019, Henry Bell Wild Bird Care, which features over 140 quality products catering for every type of garden bird, all designed with health and wellbeing of birds in mind. Henry Bell has made sustainable packaging a priority with all their Wild Bird Food packaging being 100% recyclable.
For more information, please visit www.henrybell.co.uk