All year round feeding is recommended.
Athough winter feeding can be most beneficial due to natural food sources being in short supply, shortages can occur at any time of the year and therefore its safe and reccomended to feed all year round.
By offering the birds a regular uninterrupted supply of food to suppliment their natural diet, you will ensure at times of high demand - breeding, extreme weather or rearing of their young that they have a better chance of survival.
Regular feeding all year round is also beneficial as birds return time after time to take advatage of the ready food supply. Stopping this supply will result in birds having to search for a new supply wasting time and energy that they desperately need for other activities.
As a bird watcher it is also beneficial to keep your garden visitors coming back regularly to feast in your garden.
Spring and summer months.
These are demanding months for your birds as they build their nests, lay eggs, rear their young & moult. Supplimenting their natural diet during this period will help them during these demanding months and bring its rewards.
Birds during this period will benefit from high protein foods such as black sunflowers, sunflower hearts, suet pellets & suet blocks with added berries & insects, pinhead oats, soaked raisins and ready prepared seed mixes. Peanuts are also a popular great source of protein.
Remember although natural food is generally in greater supply during these summer months so is the demand, so ensure you help meet the demand by supplying a constant regular supply of food.
Autumn and winter months.
Food should be readily available during the autumn & winter months, paying particular attention to ensure food is replenished regularly. Establish a feeding pattern and try to maintain it in order that your birds know where to find a reliable food source.
In extreme weather conditions whether feeding from a bird table, the ground or a feeder ensure you have food available throughout the day, but especially in the morning when their energy reserves are low, and and late afternoon when when they need to build a reserves for the cold night ahead.
Birds require high energy high fat foods during the cold winter weather in order to maintain their bodies reserves to see them through the night. Refined fat like fat balls and suet blocks offer a good source of energy.