There’s nothing better than waking up to the birds singing outside of your window. A garden full of birds is a great sign your garden is healthy with plenty of food, not to mention a safe space for wildlife.
If you are an avid bird-watcher or just enjoy seeing them go about their business, then turning your garden into a bird-friendly space is easier than you think.
Attracting birds to your garden does not take huge amounts of outdoor space or re-landscaping. Birds simply need:
- Shelter from predators and the elements
- Food and water
- A safe place to build a nest
If you’d like to learn how to attract birds to your garden, keep on reading for 6 top tips. But first, before implementing ways to attract more birds, you need to research what birds are local to your area.
Things to consider are:
- Which local birds migrate for the winter and which stay?
- Are there any natural predators of those birds in the area?
- What do the local birds eat?
By considering these questions first, you can ensure to set up your outdoor space appropriately to accommodate local bird species diet, safety, and overall wellbeing, particularly during the winter months.
Once you know which birds to focus on, then you can incorporate a couple or all 6 of these ideas to attract birds to your garden:
Providing local birds with a regular supply of food can support them all year round. A bird’s diet can consist of nuts, seeds, berries, and insects. Many of these are not in large supply during the winter months, so it is hard for local non-migratory birds to survive till spring.
You can support them whilst attracting birds to your garden with bird feeders. These can either be purchased from your local pet or garden store. Alternatively, you can make your own natural feeder too.
Ensure to only offer food that is healthy and nutritious to birds in your local area. Otherwise, you can cause more harm than good.
For example, many people still feed birds with leftover or stale bread. However, bread is not nutritious and can bloat a bird’s stomach.
It is also best to avoid sugary items, as well as these, can upset a bird’s digestion, are not nutritious, and can solidify around a bird’s beak making them unable to eat.
For a healthy, nutritious snack, make sure to fill your feeder with a variety of nuts and seeds suitable to the local birds in your area.
If you want to attract birds to your garden, consider installing a bird box. All birds need a safe space to build their nest. This needs to be high off the ground from potential predators such as foxes. But it also needs to be in an area where predators that are great at climbing cannot access e.g. cats.
A bird box helps to provide a safe, warm shelter where birds can nest safely. Once the nest has been used and the birds have left, it is important to remember to empty and clean it before the next nesting season.
Birds attract parasites, not to mention the nest will be full of leftover food and feces. It is best to clean in between nesting seasons so it is fresh and minimizes the risk of spreading diseases.
Birds need a supply of water all year round which can be difficult for them during the colder months. In winter, freshwater supplies often freeze over.
Birds need access to water for bathing to clean their feathers, but also for drinking. Providing a safe space for birds to drink and bathe, away from potential predators is important for their survival.
You can install a birdbath in your garden to provide birds with a place they can drink as well as clean their feathers.
Remember to change the water regularly to prevent it from attracting pests, but also to help minimize the risk of it freezing over.
Planting trees in your garden offers birds shelter from the elements and protection from predators. Plus, selecting trees that supply berries during the winter offers birds additional food.
If possible, try to plant a range of deciduous and coniferous trees. Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves in the winter, however, they often provide a good supply of berries or nuts in summer and autumn.
Whereas coniferous trees are those that retain their leaves all year round. They can shelter birds from the cold and strong winds.
Providing a range of bird-friendly plants helps increase their food supply. Check first what type of birds are local to your area to confirm you are planting the right flowers to support them.
Hummingbirds for example feed solely on nectar and so would benefit from a range of nectar-rich flowers.
Cardinals however eat a range of foods such as berries and seeds. Consider planting a berry bush or sunflowers in your garden.
Finally, it is really important to avoid using pesticides in your garden. Pesticides are extremely dangerous for birds. If birds consume a plant that has had pesticides used on it, it can be lethal for the birds.
If needed, always choose to use organic, natural-based fertilizers compared with chemical options. This ensures local wildlife will not be harmed whilst you continue to maintain your garden.
By implementing at least one, if not all 6, of these tips, you will attract birds to your garden in no time. All birds require food, water, and some form of shelter.
These top tips cover each of these aspects and offer an opportunity for you to not only support local wildlife in your area but also to enjoy birds visiting your garden.
Make sure to take a look at the following posts for more tip tips and ideas for attracting local wildlife into your garden: