For very little effort our gardens can attract a huge variety of birds, and research has shown that putting out birdfood in your garden is likely to save the lives of up to 1 Million birds!
Gardens make up around 4 % of land area in the UK and their role as habitats for our wildlife is obvious. As gardeners we are able to create lots of micro-habitats within a small area. For example a robin might feed on worms in your lawn, use your hedge to nest in and bathe in your pond… The birds will come to your garden for food, will use the shelter you provide to thrive and breed, and the spin off for us humans is we get to do something really useful for wildlife – and watching birds will almost certainly beat Saturday night TV!
To get started here are the three key elements to attracting birds:
1: Good Food: Most birds eat most types of nuts, seeds, fats, fruit and insects. Putting out a mix of different things will give you the best chance of attracting a wide variety of our feathered friends. Shop for Birdfood here.
2: A comfortable home: Nest boxes encourage many species of birds to mate and stay within the garden. If space allows, try a variety of type and hole size. Shop for our Nest Boxes here.
3: Pleasant surroundings: All birds need a drink (and a bath) so a birdbath or pond is a real plus, especially for species like house martins who will feed on the insects by swooping over your pond. Planting can make a huge difference too. For maximum effect replace your fences with a native hedge and add a bit of native wild flower meadow into your garden.
Your garden can provide a fantastic environment for birds, and it’s great to see and start to recognise the different species visiting your feeding’s and discover a bit more about bird behaviour. You will need an armchair, a cup of tea, and a bird book (or even better there’s an app for that on your iPad)
Thanks to David Pitman for writing about the Top Garden Birds and John Harding for the photos