How to Attract Birds to Your Garden
With summer swiftly approaching, it’s no surprise that our gardens will be (quite literally) buzzing with activity. Bees and butterflies are a welcome addition to any garden but perhaps one of nature’s most charming visitors is the wild bird.
Birds are abundant all year round but are a particularly prominent guest throughout the spring and summer months. Some of the most common garden birds in the United Kingdom are thrushes, blackbirds, sparrows, tits and robins and you may have already noticed them flitting around.
A valuable asset to the ecosystem and uplifting sight to behold, you may be wondering how you can attract more birds to your garden this summer. Luckily, here at Gardener’s Dream, we can provide you with all the advice you need to create an avian social hub.
Attracting birds to your garden
As with most animals, the way to a bird’s heart is through its stomach. Wild birds are attracted to food sources that are close to cover but that also provide them with a good view of their surroundings. This allows them to survey the area for predators and any other threats, while also giving them access to refuge, should they need it. Bird feeders are perfect for this, as they can be hung or fixed out of reach of cats and squirrels and give birds a safe space to feed.
Bird feeders are available in a range of materials and styles in the UK, depending on the type of food you wish to purchase. Many are specifically designed to be squirrel-proof, which should prevent any furry critters from stealing food and causing havoc. It is important to feed birds regularly throughout the winter months, when food is more scarce, as they often rely on gardeners for sustenance during this time.
Frequent cleaning and maintenance of bird feeders are essential to remove any old food and prevent the spread of bacteria and disease. If your garden attracts many birds or you notice a bird that appears to be ill, cleaning should be undertaken on a more regular basis.
An alternative to a hanging or standing feeder is a bird table. Bird tables are sturdy and weather-proof and also supply a clear view of birds at feeding time, if you enjoy watching them. Most bird tables are assembled with a small roof component, which supplies shade from the sun and an extra layer of cover. Birdbaths are also extremely beneficial to birds on a dry diet, as they assist in hydration and cleaning.
Bird nest boxes
In the warmer months, birds also scout for a place to rest and perhaps even build a nest. An effective way to encourage birds to make the most of your garden is to provide them with a nest box so that they are able to set up a cosy home. Nest boxes are an extremely versatile asset for birds, as they also provide safety and shelter from adverse weather throughout the winter. Nest boxes should be attached securely to prevent falls and damage. Multiple nest boxes will draw more birds and positioning them in a range of locations should prove successful in attracting potential nesters.
If you prefer to avoid feeders, tables and/or boxes, plant life can also prove to be of equal attraction to wild birds. Berry-bearing plants such as holly, cotoneaster, rowan or thorn tree all make for a tasty treat, whereas crab apples are particularly favoured by robins and thrushes. Dense hedges are beneficial to birds as they provide shelter and are often chosen as nesting areas. Not only will you be providing a safe haven, but you will also have a positive impact on the environment at the same time.
What to feed garden birds
Well-sourced bird feeds – such as niger and sunflower seeds – are a nutritious meal for our feathered friends and assist in keeping them happy and healthy all year round. Providing a wide and varied choice of seeds and bird pellets will surely attract a myriad of species, as different types of birds favour specific foods.
As the colder months approach, non-migratory birds are on the lookout for nourishment and you can provide them with this in the form of fat balls and suet blocks. Explore the full collection of bird food at Gardeners Dream to find options to suit all species.
Why are there no birds in my garden?
If you find that you are still struggling to attract birds, this could be due to the placement of objects in your garden or the layout itself. Cat-proofing allows bird security and also reduces the number of unwanted feline visitors if you are trying to protect your flowerbeds. Birds are very particular about where they prefer to feed and nest. Experiment by moving feeders and nest boxes to different locations so that birds have a choice in where they can eat and rest; it could be as simple as that!
By now your garden should be brimming with activity, so grab your binoculars and keep a lookout! To keep your new feathered friends happy and healthy, be sure to check out the full range of birdcare at Gardeners Dream.