Feeding the birds in wet weather

April showers and Feeding birds

Although it seems like its not stopped raining already this year we are well into April and the phrase "April showers" is certainly what we’ve been hearing a lot of! As we all know this is a common phrase used to describe the increased rainfall often experienced in the month of April.

The phrase is rooted in the idea that the arrival of spring brings with it a mix of rain and sunshine, helping to nourish the newly blooming plants and flowers. Here in the UK, April showers are a well-known phenomenon and are part of the transitional weather patterns as winter gives way to spring. All this rainfall can make feeding our friends a fair bit trickier. So what are some goof practises and tips to keep your seed nice and dry instead of soggy?

  • Dry your feeders before refilling. 

It’s good to get in the habit of making sure you give your feeders a quick wipe down to keep moisture to a minimum inside before you refill with seed.

  • Feeding less at a time.

Check the weather and if it’s forecasted to rain only put a bit out at a time. This should keep away excessive dampness rather than wasting good seed by it just getting damp and clogging your feeder.

  • Move the position of your bird feeders. 

If you are feeding from the ground, moving your tray or table under a thick tree or hedgerow might be able to help. Similarly for hanging feeders, they need shelter. If you can position them a few inches below a roof or canopy that will keep out the majority of moisture.

  • Use a squirrel baffle. 

Not only are baffles great for keeping out squirrels but they can also help to keep the rain out. It can be hung from a branch or a feeding station and can hold a feeder on the hook inside.

  • Try some feeding alternatives. 

Feeds such as suet blocks, nuts, fruits & mealworms and less likely to soak up the water and therefore as a result stay naturally fresh for longer.

  • Using feeders with fewer ports. 

Although most feeders will have a little cover on them, some have more than others! Seed feeders with multiple ports have more vulnerable points to water, so consider just using a two port when rain is forecast.

  • Feeders with roofs. 

Similar to the baffle some feeders have a covering canopy. This can help keep some rain out of the ports. Our Nuttery range feature a large ‘lid’ which can help keep the rain out.

  • Use Suet Feeders.

Suet is a high-energy food source for birds, and it holds up well in wet weather. Choose suet feeders that have protective cages or covers to keep the suet dry.



Why is it important to keep rain out of feeders?


Although birds may eat wet and damp seed it’s important to remember whys its good to keep your seed fresh and dry.


  • To avoid the development of mould. 

When seed gets wet there is a chance after a while, especially if it is warm, that bacteria will grow and turn into mould. Although most birds will find another food source if this occurs if they are particularly hungry, they might go for it, which can make them ill.

  • To avoid the seed clumping. 

This is a particular nuisance about bird feeding when it rains. When seed gets damp, it can stick to the sides of the feeder and won’t drop down to the ports where the birds are eagerly waiting for the seed.



To sum up feeding in the rain isn’t ideal but there are some simple steps we can take whilst we wait for the dryer weather to come. But whilst the wet weather is set in if you can take some time to enjoy watching the birds brave the elements. Wet weather can bring out interesting behaviours and interactions among birds, providing a unique opportunity for observation and enjoyment.


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