People usually sprinkle crumbs of white bread in winter bird feeders. Sparrows love them. It is only about white, not black bread. His birds should not be given. In recent years, you can increasingly hear and read that even dry white bread is dangerous for birds and can lead to various diseases, up to clogging the esophagus. This opinion is replicated on many sites. I decided to sort this matter out, because often I put dried crumbs or finely chopped slices of white bread into the trough. For woodpeckers, who also fly to the feeder, there is no better treat than a hardened loaf. Could this food really hurt the birds?
Not only sparrows, but also tits eat winter bread in winter
Feed or feed?
White bread is not the most complete food for birds that are kept in captivity. However, it is not about them, but about sparrows and other birds flying in the winter to the feeder. We only feed them, which is very important, especially in bad weather. For example, during or after freezing rain and snowfall. The rest of the time, the birds are engaged in an independent search for food, flying to the feeders for a “snack”. That is, we are talking about feeding, and not about complete feeding. Many ornithologists do not advise putting food in the feeders in summer and autumn, when birds themselves must look for it. Otherwise, they lose the ability to get food and become completely dependent on the person.
The opinion of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds of Great Britain is interesting. The disadvantages of white bread as bird nutrition are the lack of a complete set of substances needed by birds. They fill their stomach and experience a temporary feeling of fullness. British experts suggest feeding birds with crumbs of biscuits or butter baking, rather than "empty food." It is recommended to give grated cheese, the remains of boiled potatoes in their skins, breakfast cereals and boiled rice.
Difficult and dangerous options
Well-known publications advise to pour raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, corn grains, pearl barley, oat flakes, dried white bread crumbs into the feeders and put unsalted lard. Some of them recommend giving the birds crushed watermelon seeds, melon seeds, thistle, burdock, nettle, horse sorrel and quinoa. Weed seeds are proposed to be harvested in summer in advance and brooms made from stalks and branches with seeds to stick them in the snow in the winter near the feeders.
Garden quinoa seeds with beetroot leaves
For waxwings and bullfinches, it is proposed to collect the fruits of mountain ash, hawthorn and maple seeds (lionfish), to harvest cones of conifers and acorns. Not every bird lover will cope with this option of winter feeding birds. And many gardeners and gardeners are frightened by the prospect of sowing the site with weeds.
Other dubious, from my point of view, options are offered. For example, use animal fat (mutton, pork, beef, etc.), which must be melted to douse thick branches and tree trunks with it. It is believed that lard frozen in the cold forms a nutrient layer for tits, woodpeckers and nuthatch.
Fat and animal fat are also taken for the manufacture of another bird delicacy. At first they are slightly softened, then mixed with different seeds and seeds. After that, they are rolled into balls or given a different shape. Then they attach a thread or put bird treats in nets from packaged vegetables and hang them on bushes and trees.
The mesh option can be deadly to birds. Not so much because of the cats, but because of the net itself. I saw in the veterinary clinics wavy parrots with serious injuries caused by tulle curtains on the windows. My acquaintances had a very clever hand parrot often flying around the room. One day he clutched a curtain of tulle with his claws and tried to free himself. Veterinarians could not save the life of this parrot. In birds, fractures and dislocations often end in death. For them, any net can become a mortal danger. Especially the one that you need to cling to with your claws to quickly peck a treat and instantly fly off at any hint of danger.
Of course, special purchased mixtures of grains, chopped chicken eggs, small pieces of meat and offal are useful for birds. They need a lot, so not every bird lover can afford to feed birds like this. At my feeding trough, a full handful of such a treat is eaten in ten minutes. And in a day a lot of different birds fly up to her. By the way, neighboring cats like treats.
There are always a lot of sparrows near the feeder
Feeding trough near our house
My version of feeding birds cannot harm them. I try to put wheat bread with bran and inexpensive weighted sunflower seeds in the feeder. Only raw. They are sold in Auchan at a price of 41 rubles. 71 kopecks per kilogram (2016).
Raw Sunflower Seeds – Ideal Bird Feed
I can’t harvest cones and tree seeds in the fall. Let the birds themselves get them on the site. There is a lot of food for a variety of birds. Small pieces of fat I sometimes put in the feeders, on the branches of trees I do not hang.
Cones of blue spruce "Hopsi" birds are not at all interested
Sparrows, which constantly fly up to the feeder, are reluctant to eat buckwheat. Raw rice peck, but without much pleasure. Millet birds like even less. I stopped putting hercules. Sparrows leave it, and the groats wet during thaws, moldy. Sparrows and tits often arrange brawls over food. Larger birds drive them away: jays and woodpeckers. There is no better food for juices than the crust of a loaf. Woodpeckers, unfortunately, after the meal, switch from the hardened loaf to the plum trunk, which grows next to the feeder.
The woodpecker patiently waits for a dried loaf of white bread to be put in the trough specially for him.
Do not give wet food in winter, as he freezes quickly. Even the fresh flesh of zucchini and pumpkins, in which there are a lot of seeds, soon becomes hard. Then the birds cannot peck it.
Dried white bread (preferably with bran) remains that food for most birds that many people who feed birds in winter can afford. This is the case when the amount of feed is important.
Five jays fly to us in order to drag a pile of white bread from the feeder. They first peck the flesh, then fly away, taking the peels with them
I noticed that sparrows like white bread more than cereals. In the feeding trough, sparrows eat bread crumbs first, even when there is another food nearby, which we consider to be a bird delicacy. Of course, sunflower seeds are in high demand.