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Feeding the birds is more popular than ever

Last modified: 16 March 2013

Great tit on coconut feeder

Feeding garden birds more popular than ever

Image: Chris Gomersall

More people are putting food out for garden birds in the UK than ever before according to our new research.

Six out of ten adults in the UK say they have fed the birds in their garden over the last year, with more than half the population feeding them at least once a week.

Seeds and nuts are the most popular foods to put out - three quarters of those that feed the birds said they provide these - with around two-thirds putting out fat products and kitchen scraps. Price and value came out as the top concern for people when choosing their bird food.

Val Osborne, RSPB Wildlife Advisor, said; 'Gardens are vital habitats for some of our most threatened birds like house sparrows, song thrushes and starlings. It’s heart-warming that people are making them as welcoming for wildlife as possible.

'Given the increasing financial pressures on families it’s not surprising that people consider price above all other factors when buying bird food. Interestingly though, feeding garden birds has increased by 5 per cent over the last ten years, suggesting that people have made it a priority to help nature on their doorsteps despite tough times.' 

The most common reason given for feeding garden birds was to help wildlife and the environment, but spending time together as a family enjoying nature also emerged as important, with over a third of households with children saying this was why they put out food.

Val continued; 'For many children, discovering garden wildlife can be the first step in getting to know and love nature.  A simple activity like filling up the feeders and then watching to see which birds visit can bring families together and inspire a shared love of the natural World.'

Later this month, we will reveal the results of Big Garden Birdwatch that took place over the weekend of 26 and 27 January. It’s the World’s biggest wildlife survey with more than half a million people expected to have taken part.

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