Whether it's birdsong or the flutter of wings, one of the joys of having a garden is bird watching.
Putting out food in a garden is for all the birds to get a share of the pickings but it only takes one greedy magpie, or squawking jackdaw to steal the best bites and the little birds are left with nothing.
One way to deter bigger birds and give smaller birds a chance of getting fed, is to place a bird feeder behind dense shrubbery or planting, as larger birds are less likely to forage for food that’s hidden, whereas smaller birds, such as blue tits and chaffinches, will root around for food in undergrowth.
Another trick is to place a feeder close to a hedge or wall, making it difficult for larger birds to land on it.
Choose food that’s more suitable for little birds, like black sunflower seeds that are popular with finches to robins, along with varieties like millet and flaked maize.
No feeder is 100% effective, as squirrels will sometimes squeeze through and take what food has been put out.
While having a mix of feeder types is best to ensure that all birds can access some food and don’t forget to put out clean water, which is essential all year round.