There are many birds in the cities. Some fly to warmer climes for the winter, and there are those who live in a certain place all year round. One of the smallest urban birds are tits. These yellow-breasted birds find something to profit from in spring, summer and autumn, and in winter they have a hard time. To help tits in winter and in any other period, you need to know what you can feed them and what you should not give.
What do they eat in nature?
Tits are small birds that can be seen in the park, in the forest and other places. These birds can live both near a person and away from people. Most people believe that there are only a few varieties of these birds, but in fact there are more than 65 species.
Tits vary in size, color and other features, but each of them needs a stable source of food.
In the warm season, it is easier for birds to find food, due to the presence of insects, berries and cereals in the fields. In winter, this task becomes much more complicated, because human help will not be superfluous. If we talk about the diet of a titmouse, then in nature it eats:
- insects – leaf beetles, weevils, butterflies, spiders, mosquitoes, flies, aphids, ants, wasps and bees;
- seeds – pumpkin, linseed, sunflower (only in raw form);
- sap of trees – maple and birch (relevant in the spring).
In order to calmly overwinter, tits make stocks for the winter, they catch insects and hide them in the bark of trees. Another source of food during the cold period is leafy litter, which is regularly dug up by wild animals in search of food. If the tit is left without a source of food, it seeks help from a person, regularly checking the content of feeders and living near high-rise buildings, where there is a high probability of receiving feeding from numerous residents.
What can be put in the feeder?
Despite the fact that the tit seems to be omnivorous, and many believe that everything can be given to it, there are quite clear recommendations on what is suitable for these birds and what is strictly prohibited. When planning to make a feeder or pour food into an already finished product, it is important to take an interest in the diet of these birds, what they like and what not.
Foods that are recommended to pour tits include:
- cereals and seeds;
- berries of mountain ash, elder, hawthorn, blueberries and others;
- seeds collected from trees;
- weed seeds;
- lard or pork skin;
- unleavened bread.
If desired, cottage cheese can be given to tits without additives to replenish the supply of protein in the bird’s body. Feathered and boiled eggs are well eaten, protein mixed with yolk and any other additive allows you to saturate the body and make a good supply of nutritional reserves and energy. Fruits are very useful food, they can be fresh or dried (apples, berries of different crops).
To take care of the health of tits in winter, it is important to fill the feeders with them in a timely manner and carefully monitor what is in them. If you give a bird food that is harmful to it, then instead of helping, a person will only bring harm, and the bird will most likely die.
In the spring, it is also necessary to feed the birds, especially if the snow has not yet melted and the weather is frosty. A person can cook food with their own hands or buy a ready-made version at a pet store.
The best way to help tits survive the winter is to give them nutritious foods, but in moderation. If you fill the feeder regularly, the birds will eat only there and will stop looking for their own food, which means they will not be able to take care of themselves in the absence of a person. Bird food must be given as a snack to keep tits alive on especially harsh cold days.
One of the simplest and most affordable food options for tits are cereals. It is very important to know that not all options can be given raw, some of the cereals must be boiled. The most requested include:
Dry and raw cereals are not suitable for feeding tits, so they can be boiled or given more pliable food to eat. In the case of cooking cereals, it is important not to salt it or add any seasonings. Barley and millet are options that need to be pre-cooked before being fed to the birds.
Tits can get by with only cereals as a top dressing, but if desired, a person can significantly diversify the diet of birds.
In addition to cereals, you can please tits and seeds. Best of all, yellow-breasted birds eat sunflower seeds, flax, corn, and pumpkin seeds. It is better to split or crush large seeds to make it easier for birds to consume them. To make the food more complete, you can melt the butter and pour the seeds into it. Such food will become more nutritious and energy-intensive for birds.
An excellent delicacy for tits are tree seeds: pine, spruce, linden, maple, birch and more. They will allow you to get enough and not die in severe frosts. In addition, you can collect seeds from weeds – horse sorrel and burdock are best suited for this. There are other crops whose seeds can be used by tits for food in the autumn-winter period. Bird lovers can observe what they eat in nature, what they love the most and how they get their food.
Man, as a helper of nature, must be able to properly take care of representatives of the fauna. When preparing seeds for tits for storage, it is important to dry them well, put them in a place where rodents cannot reach them.
In the process of harvesting seeds, it is important not to treat them with any chemicals, not to use salt or other flavoring substances.
Another source of food for tits are nuts. In nature, there is a sufficient variety of these cultures, so it will not be difficult for a person to find the most favorable options for tits. Among the most popular it is worth noting:
All these delicacies must certainly be raw, without any processing by humans. For ease of use, it is necessary to chop the nuts manually or using a blender, grinder. Various food options for tits will provide them with comfortable conditions throughout the winter.
To diversify the diet of tits, you can add other types of food to it. Watermelon and melon seeds will be quite tasty and nutritious, especially in combination with cereals. If you melt lard or butter and mix it with seeds and cereals, then freeze the workpiece, you get an excellent delicacy for birds.
Useful and tasty food will be raisins, dried cherries and chokeberries. If milk food is available at home, it can also be shared with tits. A boiled egg will be to the taste of these birds. If you grate the yolk and add any other components to it, the birds will receive a nutritious and healthy top dressing.
Cheese is also one of the foods that can be given to tits. The main rule is to ensure that the product is unsalted or lightly salted. A piece of cheese is cut into cubes of 5 mm and laid out in a feeder. If necessary, you can boil a piece of lean meat or fish and cut it into small pieces for birds.
If you need to feed the chicks, parsley and lettuce should be added to the diet, finely chopped. In the warm season, you can take care of the source of water for the birds by pouring boiled water on them.
It is especially important to give clear liquid to chicks.
When choosing food for tits, it is important to focus on what is useful and necessary for them, and what is detrimental. The right approach to feeding birds will allow them to live in the city all year round without any discomfort in the search for food.
Can you feed parrots?
With a strong desire to help tits survive the cold and lack of food, you can make a feeder and regularly fill it with food. Food for these birds can be very different, you can cook it yourself, which takes quite a lot of time and money, or buy it at a pet store.
On the shelves of such stores you can find a huge amount of a wide variety of feeds, which will make it difficult to make the right choice. In order not to be mistaken and to purchase exactly what is possible, necessary, useful and tasty for tits, you can buy the following products:
- food for insectivorous birds;
- food for parrots;
- grain mixtures for canaries.
The composition of such products is most accurately selected for birds and does not contain components that are harmful and tasteless to them. In the absence of time to prepare food on your own, you can buy food for parrots and safely give it to tits. They will eat most of the ingredients with pleasure, and the rest can be pecked by other birds that have remained to winter.
What should not be fed to tits?
Having figured out what titmouse loves and what suits them best, it’s worth talking about what you can’t pour into the feeder for these birds. Prohibited foods that lead to illness and sometimes death of birds include:
- yeast, black and rye bread – any food that can ferment is a potential threat to tits;
- roasted seeds – adversely affect the functioning of the liver;
- seeds obtained from the seeds of cherries, peaches and apricots – the presence of hydrocyanic acid in them is harmful even to humans, therefore birds cannot eat them;
- salted, smoked bacon and fish – cause digestive problems;
- peas, potatoes, cabbage and other similar products – they cause fermentation, potatoes contain components dangerous to the life of birds;
- dry and raw grains such as millet, which have no taste and nutritional value, and therefore useless for poultry;
- mushrooms – they often accumulate harmful substances that are poorly tolerated by the body of tits;
- canned food – vinegar, spices, salt and other components harmful to birds are used for their preparation;
- food for cats and dogs – their composition is absolutely not suitable for birds;
- any stale food.
There is a fairly large list of food contraindications that relate to feeding tits. People who are interested in helping wintering birds should definitely know it so as not to harm the already weakened birds.
The correct diet, diet and the ability to independently obtain food in nature, in addition to the feeder, allow tits to easily survive any frost year after year, delighting people with their sonorous singing.