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Keen to help my little feathered friends through the bleak mid-winter, I’ve been doing some research on exactly what I can feed the little fellas. I was surprised to read at the RSPB website that birds are in fact quite partial to a bit of Christmas dinner, what a great idea for getting rid of the leftover. Here’s what to share and what not to share, according to the RSPB:

  • Fat. Only from unsalted cuts of meat, i.e. not from a ham. Put it out in a large piece for the little birds to pick at, and be sure to anchor it down to be sure that a large bird doesn’t make off with it. Nail it down if necessary.
  • Roast potatoes. Once they’re cool, cut them open for birds to enjoy the fluffy insides.
  • Vegetables. Cold brussels sprouts, carrots and parsnips are popular. Don’t put out more than what can be eaten in one day or you may attract rats.
  • Fruit. Excess or bruised apples, pears or other fruit. Cut up and leave out.
  • Pastry. Cooked or uncooked are both good bird food, especially if made with real fats.
  • Cheese. Small pieces of hard cheese, but nothing to strong and no blue cheese.
  • Dried fruit. Raisins, sultanas and currants are all good.
  • Biscuits and cakes. Stale cake and crumbs from the bottom of the biscuit tin are all full of fat and good for getting birds through the winter.

Salt is a big no-no! Birds can’t digest salt and it will remain in their nervous systems, so please don’t feed birds anything salty.