How to attract wild birds to your garden

Transforming your garden into a haven for wild birds is a rewarding and enjoyable endeavour. Not only does it add to the beauty of your outdoor space, but it also contributes to the well-being of local bird populations. In this guide, we'll explore simple yet effective ways to attract a variety of feathered friends to your garden, creating a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem.

Give them Food

One of the most effective ways to attract wild birds to your garden is by providing them with a reliable source of food.

When the weather is cold, the availability of natural foods diminishes but you can discover a variety of different bird feeds to place in your garden. Invest in quality bird feeders and offer a mix of seeds that cater to different bird species.

Place feeders in strategic locations around your garden, ensuring they are easily accessible and safe from potential predators.

Fat balls are a favourite treat for many birds in winter. Fat balls are fun and easy to make at home. Read our blog with simple instructions on how to make your own fat balls.

Make Your Own

Plant Some Bird-friendly Plants

Create a bird-friendly environment by incorporating plants that provide both food and shelter. Native plants are particularly beneficial, as they attract insects that many birds feed on. Berry-producing shrubs such as holly and elderberry are excellent choices, as they offer a natural food source. Additionally, trees and shrubs with dense foliage provide birds with shelter and nesting sites. Ivy provides both natural food and shelter for wild birds. Consider planting the following to attract birds to your garden:

  • Holly
  • Elderberry
  • Ivy
  • Teasel
  • Rowan
  • Hazel
  • Hawthorn
  • Honeysuckle
  • Sunflower

Provide them with Shelter

Wild birds need safe spaces to rest, roost, and nest. Consider adding birdhouses or nest boxes to your garden. Choose designs specific to the types of birds common in your area, and position them in locations that mimic their natural habitat. This not only encourages nesting but also helps birds feel secure, attracting them to your garden on a regular basis.

Read our blog on choosing the right nest box and where to position it in your garden.

How to Choose a Nest Box

Put Fresh Water Out

Water is essential for birds, both for drinking and bathing. Installing a bird bath or a shallow basin filled with fresh water provides a crucial resource. Keep the water clean and change it regularly to prevent the spread of disease. Place the water feature in an open area where birds can easily spot potential predators and feel safe while enjoying a refreshing drink or bath. Remove any ice during the winter and replace the water regularly to keep it fresh.

Keep Feeders Clean

Maintaining clean bird feeders is vital for the health of the birds visiting your garden. Regularly clean and disinfect feeders to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. This not only ensures the well-being of the birds but also encourages their return to your garden for a reliable food source.

Protect them from Predators

Creating a safe environment for birds involves minimizing potential threats from predators. Position bird feeders and nesting sites away from dense shrubbery where predators may hide. If cats are a concern, consider using deterrents or installing cat-proof fencing to protect the birds from potential harm.

Enjoy having visitors to your garden

Finally, take the time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the diverse birdlife in your garden. Observing their behaviours, listening to their songs, and appreciating the vibrant colours they bring to your outdoor space can be a truly enriching experience. Consider keeping a pair of binoculars and a bird identification guide handy to enhance your bird-watching adventures.

Find out which birds you’re likely to see in your garden during the spring when they are most active, plus some tips on what to feed species to keep them coming back. 

Wild Birds to Look Out For

Attracting wild birds to your garden is a delightful way to connect with nature and contribute to the well-being of local ecosystems. By providing food, shelter, and a safe environment, you can create a welcoming space that encourages a variety of bird species to make your garden their home. Follow these simple steps, and soon you'll find yourself surrounded by the joyful presence of feathered friends, enhancing the charm and biodiversity of your outdoor sanctuary.

Want to learn more about attracting wildlife to your garden? Join us at St Peters for our Attracting Wildlife to Your Garden talk on the 20th March 2024.

Book Here

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