For generations we have enjoyed and been lead to believe that feeding birds’ bread is a thoughtful thing to do. However, what most of us don’t know is that feeding birds too much bread can actually cause serious problems for them.
Although birds seem content eating bread, it does not contain the necessary protein and fat they need from their diet, thus so acts as an empty filler. Its nutritional value is relatively low so if a bird’s diet is made up most of bread, it is likely to suffer from serious vitamin deficiencies and possibly even starve.
It has been shown that bread and bread products, especially white bread which contains copious amounts of sugar, causes lasting damage to the waterfowl. In developing young birds, damage to the waterfowl can cause growth abnormalities in the wing, this is known as ‘Angel Wings’ which causes birds to become flightless and defenceless to predators.
Please help us to protect the birds here at The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
You can find many household foods that are great to feed the birds. Here are a few examples;
- Halved Seedless Grapes
- Crushed Biscuits
- Grated Cheese
- Leftover Baked Potatoes
- Shredded Kale
- Shredded Romaine Lettuce
- Breakfast Cereals
- Overripe Strawberries and Apples
- Cracked Corn
- Pumpkin Seeds and Grains
- Wheat, Barley and Oats
- And of course, Birdseed
The key is to make sure anything you feed is bite-sized to avoid choking hazards.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please get in touch with our Visitor Welcome Team here at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.