Attracting Birds to Your Garden

Birds bring energy, colour and sound to a garden and help to bring a garden to life. A report carried out by experts from the RSPB and the British Trust for Ornithology estimate that bird populations in the UK have fallen by 44 million since 1966.

Follow our handy tips towards attracting birds to your garden and help to revive our bird population.

Bird Food

Garden birds will appreciate being fed all year round, but it is especially important to help them out during the winter months. Different foods will attract different birds so choose a selection to help bring your garden to life.

  • Use traditional wire mesh bird feeders for peanuts.
  • Finches are a fan of small nyger seeds which need a specially designed feeder.
  • Fat blocks are a tasty treat for birds, you can make your own or these can be bought ready. These can be placed in wire cages for birds to enjoy.
  • Ground feeding birds such as robins will appreciate food just above the ground on wire meshes.
  • Birds love sunflower seeds, so why not plant some sunflowers too as they will enjoy feeding on the drying seedheads.
  • Birds like leftovers too. They will eat dried fruit, the cereal left at the bottom of your box, cooked rice and dog/cat food. They’ll have a biscuit too if you’re offering, but it will need crushing down and mixing with a bit of water first if it’s not too much trouble!

Bird Baths

Birds love a good bath! They like to have a little dip and a drink so give them somewhere for them to relax and recharge their batteries. Just follow our tips below:

  • Bird baths should be flat with shallow sloping sides and be no more than 10cm deep. If you are buying a bird bath then this will already be taken care of, but bare this in mind if you planning on making one.
  • Keep it topped up all year round but particularly during summer and winter. In winter remove any ice and top it up with warm water.

Bird Boxes

  • Bird boxes provide a home for birds to nest in and raise their families in the spring and summer, as well as providing shelter and protection from the weather in the autumn and winter months. Different boxes suit different birds so cater to the birds that already visit your garden and to the ones that you want to attract. You can choose traditional bird boxes, ornamental ones or even have a go at making your very own.
  • Little bird box with a hole – These suit birds such as Blue Tits, Great Tits, House Sparrows, Redstarts and Nuthatches.
  • Big bird boxes with a hole – These suit birds such as Starlings and Little Owls.
  • Very big bird boxes – These suit owls such as Tawny Owls and Barn Owls as well as Kestrels and Jackdaws.
  • Open fronted bird boxes – These suit birds such as Robins and Pied Wagtails.

Plants to Attract Birds

Different birds like a variety of different plants and by keeping a good range of plants in flower throughout the year, your garden will become very appealing to birds. Here are a few of our favourites to give you some inspiration to help get you started:

Spring/ Summer Flowering

  • Holly
  • Hawthorn
  • Cornflower
  • Crab Apple
  • Fruit Trees
  • Rowan

Late Summer/ Autumn Flowering

  • Ivy
  • Honeysuckle
  • Teasel
  • Sunflower
  • Cotoneaster
  • Guelder Rose

By following some of our handy tips, you should be able to make your garden a more bird friendly environment. All that’s left to do after that is to sit back and watch! Look at which birds you attract to your garden and you can even get involved in the ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ with the RSPB. You can input your recordings and you and your garden can become a part of the world’s largest wildlife survey!

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