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The Casual Birder Podcast

A podcast about wild birds and bird watching.

Birding is a great pastime. It can be done with others or alone. You don't need expensive equipment; your eyes or ears are enough.

And best of all, it doesn't really need any great commitment. The Casual Birder does as much or as little birding as suits them. It's perfect for fitting into our busy schedules. 


Join me each episode as I:

  • talk about the birds I have seen, 
  • interview others who enjoy wild birds, and 
  • share comments and questions from listeners.


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Dec 23, 2018

I talk to Claire Boothby, from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), about feeding garden birds, feeder hygiene and the BTO Garden Birdwatch. (Bird feeding tips below)

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BTO Garden Bird Watch

Link to


Great tips from the Audubon society:


 RSPB Garden Birdwatch


Report to

For all types of disease in garden wildlife, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians


Contributions in this episode from:

Kate from Pups n PopCulture podcast


Susan from The Dead Ladies Show podcast


The theme music is Short Sleeved Shirt by The Drones. Thanks to them for letting me use it. Check out their website at



Additional material - Tips on feeding garden birds.

Foods to Avoid:

NO fat from cooking meat because it can be salty and will decay quickly

NO Soft fats, ones that are soft at room temperature - can interfere with plumage

NO Bread - it is nutritional poor

NO Mouldy seeds

If peanuts aren’t being eaten, check they haven’t gone mouldy. Only put out what will be eaten over a few days


Foods to try:

Apples - good for Thrushes

Sunflower hearts - favourite with Goldfinches

Fats, suet blocks, fat balls - Blackcaps, Tits, Woodpeckers (Remember: remove netting from fat balls, as birds can get caught in it)

Grated mild cheese is good for Robins


Homemade fat cake treat from the RSPB:

 - Take a block of hard fat like store-bought lard or suet, 

 - mix in birdseed, raisins and unsalted nuts

 - press the mixture around a pine cone. 

 - Hang it from a tree with string and you have a food source that will appeal to the acrobatic tit family. 

 - Or place one on a mesh ground feeder tray and allow the Blackbirds, Robins and Dunnocks to also enjoy your creation!



Clean feeders regularly. If there are a lot of birds visiting, clean them more frequently

Use mild disinfectant and rinse, and leave to air dry

Have smaller feeders at different locations, and rotate feeding stations so contaminants aren’t building up at the base of the feeder. 

Provide fresh water every day (even through the winter ) and clean out bird baths regularly

Only put out enough food that will be eaten in 2-3 days


Sick birds

If you find birds displaying the following symptoms:

 - Lethargic, being fluffed up, difficulty swallowing, messy faces

 - Look obviously ill 


Report them to

For all types of disease in garden wildlife, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians 


Take food away and don’t feed for a couple of weeks, to encourage birds to disperse.

Give all feeders a thorough clean

Further tips can be found on the BTO website at