Should You Feed Garden Birds in Summer?

Written by Danny Yeoman, Wild Bird Expert

Many of us leave out food for birds during the winter. Helping conserve bird species in our gardens during the colder months brings us as much joy as the birds.

However, feeding birds in summer is a less common practice. Many bird lovers question if birds need the extra help in the warmer months.

It’s a surprisingly common belief that feeding birds in summer is unnecessary. However this is a complete myth. Both the RSPB and BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) agree that you should absolutely feed birds in summer.

This is the time when birds are focused on raising their young, and a few easily accessible food sources wouldn’t go amiss. Contrary to popular belief, this won’t make them lazy or soften their natural instincts; it will simply give them a little boost at this time of year.


What To Feed Birds In Summer

Although feeding birds in the summer is completely fine, you must leave out the right foods. Birds are caring for their young during the warmer months and also moulting. When birds moult, they will require higher protein foods. 

Try and leave out foods such as:

1. A Good Quality General Seed Mix

This will attract a wide variety of birds to your garden. Look for mixes with high oil seeds like sunflower seeds, peanut granules, and millet. Seed mixes like Peter & Paul Four Seasons or Peter & Paul Clean Plate. Avoid seed mixes that contain wheat or oats, as these seeds are very poor nutritionally for birds and are only really eaten by Pigeons! 


2. Speciality Seed Mixes

Remember that birds like Robins, Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Song Thrushes, Blackcaps, and other common garden birds have a more specialised diet. These birds eat worms, bugs, and other creepy crawlies in your garden. They also have a fruit and berry part of their diet that needs to be fulfilled. Alongside requiring  special tonic seeds that standard seed mixes don’t usually provide.

To ensure they are getting everything they need in your garden, make sure you are scattering a little Peter & Paul In Full Song on a bird table or directly on the ground.


3. Live or Dried Insects

Live or dried insects are great for all birds. These are an excellent food for parent birds to feed their young. Especially in very hot, dry weather when insects can be difficult to find. Mealworms are traditionally used, but Peter & Paul Black Soldier Fly offers a better nutritional reward for birds and is FAR better for the environment.

Just remember, if you are feeding dried insects, they will need to be soaked in clean, fresh water before putting them out in your garden.


As well as knowing what to feed birds in summer, you must keep your feeders clean. Food  has a higher risk of going bad in warm weather. So ensure that you clean your bird feeders and tables regularly and immediately dispose of mouldy bird food.

To help, the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) has produced a free guide to disease and hygiene with simple precautions and guidelines.


Summer Bird Feeding Tips

Feeding birds in summer is a great way to keep your garden alive with activity, but there are several things you can do to help your garden birds.

1. Move your feeders to a shady area of the garden to keep birds cool and avoid spoiled seed.

2. Position your feeders properly so birds won’t run into your windows!

3. Include a birdbath in your garden and make sure you fill this up regularly!

Feeding birds in summer may not be as vital as feeding birds in winter, but it is still important. So, make sure to leave out the right foods and clean your feeders often for regular feathered friend visits this summer!

For more information about our wonderful British Birds, check out the Peter & Paul Podcast over on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Wanting to provide the best support to your garden birds? Head over here to shop the Peter & Paul Wild Bird Range.