How to Attract Birds to Your Garden
Attracting birds to your garden is surprisingly easy, it doesn’t take much to make your garden more attractive to birds however your garden location, and proximity to big cities will affect the varieties of bird species that may visit.
So, get your binoculars at the ready, as here are some of the most effective ways of attracting birds to your garden!
Wild animals are always on the lookout for their next meal, and birds are no different! If they know your garden is a place they can get one – they will no doubt visit and keep returning to your garden. With a huge variety of bird seed and other bird food on the market, you can very easily attract a wide variety of birds in the UK.
You don’t have to rush off to the nearest garden centre or spend lots on specific bird feed as they will also eat any finely chopped food scraps, such as breadcrumbs, dried fruits, cheese. Keep in mind that whenever you leave food out for the birds, it will also attract other unwanted wildlife such as squirrels, and even domesticated pets. Some bird feeders combat this by making it difficult for larger animals to access the food.
When it comes to installing a feeder keep in mind its position in the garden. You want to ensure that the feeder is in the open, away from fences or overhanging tree branches as these are ideal places for predators to lurk as the bird eats. You also may want to put the feeder in a spot where you have a great view from your home interior.
If you have a decent sized lawn, chances are you can catch birds visiting your garden on the hunt for worms, grubs and other live insects that lurk just beneath the surface.
One of the most important things for all life is shelter, and birds are no different! Shelter can be in several forms such as a bird box, which will create a safe place for a nest.
Dense bushes are also a great shelter for birds as it gives them a secluded spot out of view from predators where a nest can also be created.
*top tip* For the bird watching enthusiast, you can get an intriguing view of nesting birds by installing a bird box camera kit. Some products out there come with a tiny camera pre-installed which can allow you to watch a live feed of the nesting birds straight in your home, where they won’t be disturbed.
A place to bathe:
Like all animals, birds need to get clean and they do so by bathing in clear, shallow water. Birdbaths are an excellent way of attracting birds to the garden and it can make your garden become part of a bird’s daily routine.
Birdbaths come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and budgets so chances are there is one that meets your requirements.
In cold winters, they can tend to unfortuntely freeze over, if this does occur do not use salt or any chemical de-icer as this can be harmful to the birds.
Try to keep cats away:
Cats are natural predators for birds, often times cats will hunt them purely for sport so if you are a cat owner, chances are your pet is scaring away some of the birds that may otherwise visit your garden.
Common Birds in the UK:
There are hundreds of bird species in the UK, but here are some of the most likely you can hope to see in your garden.
These aren’t the flying rats that plague our cities! Wood pigeons tend to be larger in size and have a pinkish/ brown breast. These tend to forage for seeds, fruit and on lawns they tend to enjoy eating lawn shoots and even leaves.
The iconic Robin red breast is one of the most widely known bird species. These birds are active all year round and love areas with dense cover. They are however very territorial and will fight to dissuade intruders or competing birds.
House Sparrows are found in both rural and suburban areas of the country. Although small in stature, they are loud and love feeding on a variety of foods including human food scraps.
One of the most abundant species of bird in the UK, the Chaffinch is easily identifiable due to its plumage that is easier to spot when it is in flight. When foraging on the ground level, they tend go for seeds and insects under feeders and hedges.
With it’s blue cap and bright yellow breast, the Blue Tit tends to nest within trees but also occasionally used boxes. In the Countryside, Blue Tits will hunt for insects, spiders, caterpillars etc but they are most commonly spotted at garden feeders in the suburbs.
Male Blackbirds are easily identifiable with its black feathers and bright yellow / orange beak, confusingly however female blackbirds are in fact brown with a spotted breast.
Blackbirds are found across the country and are mostly found foraging on lawns and in parks for worms and insects.