There are over 400 different species of birds to be found around the island of Ireland. Within this number are 249 rare species that are very difficult to spot. This list also includes the diverse range of ducks, swans and geese which account of around 38 species between them. There are also many sea birds and other birds commonly found on water and lakes including Divers, Grebes, Herons, Gannets and Commorants whose diet is mostly fish.
There are also many small wild birds however, and these are the birds which we can provide bird food for during the year through a range of wild bird foods and feeds. To feed wild birds you should first check the ingredients on the bird food and see what birds it can attract:
Red Dari: Also known as Milo, this is a cereal and is high in carbohydrates. Popular with Jays, Doves, Quails & pigeons
White Millet: Very common in bird food mixes and is high in nutrition. Millet is a small grain, high in starch and comes in many colours. Popular with Doves, Pigeons, Finches and Sparrows
High Energy Suet Pellets: These are condensed food feed mixes themselves and contain a ride range of ingredients including cereals, seeds, oils and minerals, fats and sunflower seeds
Cracked corn: This is kernel of corn that have been dried and broken up making them suitable for birds to eat and digest.
Kibbled corn: Similar to cracked corn, where the kernels are cracked under steam pressure and extruding
Note: Many pets can be allergic to corn and corn levels in a bird feed is an indicator of low quality. I.e. the more corn in the ingredients, the lower the quality of feed
Maize: Flecked maize is a valuable source of nutrition for birds. Popular with Blackbirds
Black Sunflower Seeds: High Energy Seeds and full of oils, nutrients and vitamins. Can be more popular than peanuts. With their soft seed coats most birds can and do feed on them. Popular with Tits, Finches, Woodpecker, Sparrows but also Blackbirds and Squirrels
Pinhead oats: These are chopped up, naked oats and are high in essential oils. Popular with Tits, Finches, Blackbird, Siskins
Nyjer: Also known as thistle, these come from the Guizotia plant of Ethiopia and are tiny black seeds high in oil. If you want to use nyjer seeds on their own you will need to get a specific nyjer seed feeder. Be sure that the seeds you are buying have been cleaned and tested. Nyjer is Popular with Goldfinches
Peanuts: These are a high energy feed and specifically suited to winter month feeding. Some peanuts can be high in Alfatoxins which can kill wild birds, so ensure that the peanuts you buy have been screened and tested for this. Popular with Tits, Sparrows, WoodPeckers and more
Fruit: Left over fruit from the kitchen is another way for attract wild birds in to the garden and sometimes these fruits can be found in bird food mixes. Some fruit includes raisins, slices of apples, orange or banana. Popular with Bluebirds, Finches and Robins