How to to attract birds to your garden

How to to attract birds to your garden

Attracting birds to your garden can be easily achievable, although it can be impacted by factors such as where you live and the size of your garden. In this article, we'll go through a list of things you can do to help keep the populations thriving in your garden.

Having birds in your garden can be a pleasing sight for all and you can often find yourself spending hours watching what they're getting up to.

One of the most important things to consider is that you can meet the needs of birds throughout the seasons as the weather and landscape changes.

Bird Feeders

If you haven't already, consider investing in a bird feeder and stock it full of a good quality mix. Bird feeders generally will help attract species such as blue tits, great tits, long-tailed tits, goldfinches, sparrows and many more!

Bird Feeder
A crested tit feeding on a bird feeder

We suggest starting off with one or two bird feeders - the good thing with bird feeders is that they can be used in gardens of all sizes.

There are many different mixes available to attract specific species, but it can be a good idea to start off with a mix of peanuts and sunflower hearts which is a pretty versatile all-rounder food that many species can enjoy.

Consider placing your bird feeder in a place where birds are going to feel safe feeding from any form of danger. We find placing near trees and bushes can be some of the best places to position them as birds can perch nearby and feel safe.

Bird Tables

If you have space in your garden and the budget to do so, investing in a good quality bird table can be more beneficial than the feeders as it gives you the ability to offer a greater variety of food such as scraps from the kitchen and fruit.

Bird table
A blue tit feeding from a bird table

Larger birds that struggle to feed on bird feeders will also benefit from a bird table will also appreciate it such as collared doves, blackbirds and thrushes. Smaller birds will still feed on bird tables too.

Cleaning your bird table is a regular ritual you should perform as it'll help to attract birds back with fresher food and help discourage spreading bacteria and spreading disease. We recommend giving it a clean at least once a week.

Bird baths

We often focus on just providing food for birds, but a fresh water source is a must for birds to drink and bathe in. A bird bath can be as simple as a shallow bowl or dish placed on the ground.

Bird baths
Starling using a bird bath

If you have the budget and space to do so, you can get a more ornate bird bath which can also act as a bit of a feature in your garden. Birds are naturally attracted to the sound of running water so installing one with a solar-powered pump can be extremely beneficial.

The cleaning regime is similar to the bird feeders in that you'll need to try and change the water source at a regular period to keep it clean and prevent bacteria and try and give it a bit of a clean inside too.

Plant for the birds

Having a wide variety of plants, shrubs and trees in your garden will massively improve the number of birds visiting your garden. This isn't just for the food sources they can provide, like berries for members of the Thrush family, but can provide safe nesting locations for birds in shrubs.

If you don't have a very big garden, you can still tactically place containers of plants to provide shelter and food sources for birds. Popular choices include Sunflowers, Lavender, Poppies and grasses - plus they'll look great!

Keep predators away

Cats can scare off bird populations in the garden and can soon become one of your biggest enemies. Finding remains of birds that have been attacked by cats can be very upsetting. If you have your own cat, it may be possible to control this a bit more, but controlling visiting cats can be a near-impossible task.

Fortunately, there are a few measures you can put in place to control the visiting of cats from the neighbourhood to help protect and make the birds in your garden feed safe. Things such as fence spikes, light reflectors and sonic and scent deterrents can be pretty effective.

Nesting boxes

Installing nest boxes in locations such as on trees and places with cover nearby will attract various different species of birds and provide them with a location to make a nest to raise their chicks.

Nesting boxes

Try and clean out your nest boxes each winter (or after the birds are done with them) with hot water and remove old nests. This will keep things like parasites away.

Keep watching

After you've done some of the above steps it can take some time for birds to appear start appearings, so don't feel disheartened if you don't see any right away. It can take anything from a couple of days, weeks or even months, but it's worth the time and effort as birds will continue to feed year in year out after they find a reliable and safe food source in your garden.

If you're finding that you have plenty of birds throughout the summer, but not in the winter, try and think what you can do to make your garden more attractive to birds in the Winter.