You can easily lure birds into your garden any time of the year. With the right feed and access to water for drinking and bathing, you can increase the number of species and birds that visit the garden. But what should you serve them?
Redwing and Starling
(Icelandic: Skógarþröstur og stari)
Redwings, Blackbirds and Starlings are common winter birds in gardens. Usually they eat various kinds of insects and other small animals and berries in the autumn. In the colder times of winter they come into gardens in search of food and they especially like fat, meat drippings and scraps, also fruits such as apples, pears and raisins. Bread is also good in the cold and better if it has been mixed with oil or other fat substances. The feed should be put on feeding trays in the right height or hung up in trees. With apples and pears it is best to cut them in half and stick them onto twigs one to two meters from the ground, or as high as you can reach.
Vagrants – foreign visitors
Various foreign bird species are blown of course and end up in Iceland. They stay here for the winter and depend on feed in gardens for survival. These are e.g. Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Bohemian Waxwing, Goldcrest and Blackcap. The foreign visitors have similar taste as the Redwing and eat fats, fruits and bread both on the ground and on feeding trays and stations. The Bohemian Waxwing specialises in eating berries and mostly eats fruit such as apples and pears. The European Robin prefers bread or meat drippings and scraps. They also like eating hidden under bushes or spruce branches.
Blackcaps eat fat and fruits. With constant regular feeding they can survive through the winter. They are mostly insect eaters but eat small berries in the autumn. They search for food in trees and seldom go down on the ground. It is best to feed them on feeding trays or stations or by throwing meat drippings onto bushes or the branches of spruce trees. This latter way of feeding them is good because they do not like competing for food with bigger birds.
Buntings and finches
(Icelandic: Tittlingar og finkur)
The smallest ones, Snow Buntings, Redpolls and finches are seed eaters. It is best to feed them from feeding stations or roof tops. Siskins and Redpolls also prefer eating from hanging feeding stations or trays.
When referring to seeds we are mainly talking about sunflower seeds and various finch seeds e.g. for cage birds such as Canaries.
When snow covers the ground and it is difficult to find food some like to feed the Raven. It does not like small and narrow gardens but if the place is spacious enough it comes and eats almost everything that is put out for it. The Raven especially likes fat. Leftover meat and fat is what it likes best.