Ready, steady, rook! Bird lovers rustle up gourmet grub for hungry feathered friends

Why did the chicken cross the road? Well, according to one of the biggest retails of bird seed in the UK, it might be to get to the gourmet food side.

They say they early bird catches the worm – but that might no longer be good enough for our tweetie pies, who we are increasingly feeding with quality meals.

Demand is flying high, rising more than 50% in the past year alone as more wild life lovers than ever look to feed their birds as a reward for singing for their supper.

Jo Kenrick, Marketing Director at Homebase, said: “Many now want to splash out that little bit extra on special bird food, because plain seed seems a poor return for hearing them sing all day.

“For many bird lovers it would be akin to giving Luciano Pavarotti a plain boiled egg in return for a magnificent performance of La Boheme – rather a meagre way of rewarding excellence”

And while the great operatic tenor may have enjoyed a nice Nessun Korma, it seems our bird foods now go beyond the usual bowl of Sugar Puffins or Cuckoo Pops.

Why not treat your gull friend to a Peckish Winter Warmer? Or, if they’re looking for something to see them through that mid-afternoon slump, how about some tasty Energy Bites with Peanut and Mealworm?

If it seems a bit hard to swallow the standard bird seed remains still the biggest seller but the ‘single coconut shell treat’ is catching up on its tail.

Specially-developed formulas mean that some foods now contain extra bird-specific ingredients, such as Carotenoids, which helps develop their feathers and colour.

Others have extra calcium to help with egg production while some dishes contain extra Vitamin A, D and E, designed to help build strong beaks and wings.

Competitive bird lovers can also choose bird food designed to attract specific species to their gardens.

A special songbird seed mix will boost the dawn chorus, while other blends will attract firm favourites such as blue tits.

And if it’s too expensive, you could always put it on their bill.

Picture courtesy of Kenneth Hagemeyer, with thanks

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