You may have old bird feeders or brand new ones if you are starting a garden, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you are going to be feeding the birds. It is wonderful to see them so close to the house and it certainly helps to keep unwanted insects and the like at bay. The more birds the merrier. But you need to feed them in a way that is best for them so how often to feed the garden birds is an important question.
The RSPB has some great information and I am certainly not as knowledgeable as them but there are some basic guidelines to always bear in mind.
You should feed all year. This is the basic premise that you should aways bear in mind. If you begin to feed them then it is important that there is always food available.
During warmer weather then you need to offer higher protein food for the little birdies. It is the perfect food for them at this time. If the ground is hard and it is very dry then protein is in short supply, less access to worms and other insects takes care of that.
When the weather is cooler then foods higher in protein are the mainstay and this helps to keep their temperature up and put down fat stores for the coldest weather.
The main thing to bear in mind is that if you begin feeding them they expect it. Birds are very habitual and can often return to the same place year after year. And their offspring will follow suit as well.
So if you want your garden to be full of the joy of bird-song then feed daily and ensure that you maintain good hygiene with their feeders.
And always ensure that there is a fresh and plentiful supply of water at all tmes too.