Watching birds enjoying your garden is a wonderful and relaxing way to spend the time and is a great way to teach children about the natural world and all the hidden wildlife on their doorstep.
Sadly, the natural habitat of many birds is decreasing which makes our gardens vital lifelines for them to find food, shelter, and places for them to nest in during the spring as well.
There are many ways you can make your garden attractive for birdlife and it’s not just about hanging up a bird feeder or two. It takes time for birds to discover your garden, so patience is required but here are some tips on how to attract birds:
Give birds natural sources of food by your choice of plants
Feeding birds is not just about bird feeders as much of what we grow in our garden can offer natural food for birds as well. Plants that are rich in berries and seeds are a great way to attract birds to the garden, particularly in the winter.
If your garden has a lawn area this is another element that provides birds with access to natural food and you will see them rooting through the grass. Many birds eat insects so any plants which attract insects are perfect for also attracting birds.
Plants that attract bees and butterflies and other insects, will also bring in the birds. Another way to provide food for insect-eating birds is to have a leafy area on the ground so they can look for grubs and worms under the leaves.
Set up bird feeders or a bird table
Putting up bird feeders or even a bird table is one of the easiest ways to try to attract more birds into your garden, but it will not happen overnight. Birds will need time to discover your new offerings.
It can help if you know which kinds of birds you want to attract and what they are most likely to eat as there is a wide variety of bird food to choose from. Make sure you go for higher quality food as some of the cheaper ones contain ingredients that many garden birds do not like.
While most of us might think of putting out bird feeders in the winter, when food is scarce, birds will benefit from food all year round so do not make it purely seasonal. You can also create fat balls to hang in trees in your garden for an extra treat.