Ten easy ways to attract birds to your garden

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

We share our top ten provisions you can make to attract birds to your garden throughout the year.

Birds are amazing creatures. There are an estimated 10,000 different bird species globally; each one adapted to thrive in their local environment.

Despite the diversity of the species, all birds share three basic requirements that they need to survive; food, water and shelter – both from predators and the elements.

Read on to find out what easy changes you can make to attract birds into your garden.

 

We share our top ten easy provisions you can make to attract native birds to your garden throughout the year.

 

 

How to attract more wild birds into your garden.

 

1. Plant native plants and let them seed.

Our number one tip for encouraging birds into your garden is to make space for native plants and allow them to complete their life cycle.

Native birds have evolved to feed both from native plants themselves, and the insects that they attract.

Many of the birds that visit our gardens eat a combination of seeds, fruit and insects.

 

2. Encourage insects (and avoid pesticides) in your garden.

Many of our garden birds feed on invertebrates.

Blackbirds are ground feeders who search out earthworms, snails and other insects.

Robins are the gardener’s constant companion on the lookout for worms, beetles and spiders.

Among many other birds, Gulls follow tractors as they plough the fields while swallows hunt for insects in flight.

Many birds even use spider webs in their nest building, notably chaffinches and the pretty little long-tailed tit.

 

We share our top ten easy provisions you can make to attract native birds to your garden throughout the year.

 

3. Plant fruit and berry trees

An autumn hedgerow dripping with berries is a beautiful sight, but have you ever wondered why those wonderful black and red fruits come in the colours they do?

Many plants use berries as a clever way to entice birds and other animals to distribute their seeds. So next time you pop a juicy blackberry into your mouth, think about all the other animals we share our habitat with who may also be doing the same.

Berry and fruit-bearing trees provide food for a range of insects and animals other than birds. Foxes, badgers, mice, squirrels and hedgehogs will all happily feed on them.

 

4. Provide Water

All living things need water, and birds are no exception. Birds need water both for drinking and bathing.

Water is critical during the winter when natural supplies may freeze and during hot weather when water can be hard to find.

Water is best kept in a shallow container, no deeper than two inches. Refresh it as often as you can and remove any ice during the winter.

Providing a safe, clean, regular water source for the birds in your garden year-round will help attract more wild birds into your garden. One way to ensure that birds can drink and bathe away from predators is to provide a hanging water bath in your garden.

 

We share our top ten easy provisions you can make to attract native birds to your garden throughout the year.

 

5. Leave dead trees and wild areas to provide cover for wild birds

All wildlife benefits from access to dead wood and wild areas in the garden. The habitat it provides for insects and plants will, in turn, provide more forage for your birds and small mammals.

 

6. Let some of your grass grow long (while keeping other areas short.)

Birds have evolved to take advantage of all different habitats, so the more variety in your garden, the more species of birds you’ll attract.

Allowing grass and meadow flowers to set seed will provide much-valued food for many birds. Longer grass also provides shelter and egg-laying opportunities for the insects on which birds and other wildlife feed.

Other birds, however, appreciate short grass when foraging for worms, grubs and other insects.

 

We share our top ten easy provisions you can make to attract native birds to your garden throughout the year.

 

7. Provide nesting spots and nest boxes

Another great way to encourage birds to your garden is by providing them with somewhere secure to nest. Hedges, trees and walls covered in vegetation are all habitats that birds love to nest in.

Adding nest boxes in sheltered areas of your garden will give the birds even more choice. Avoid positioning nest boxes in direct sunlight or where they will be affected by strong winds. Somewhere between north- and east-facing is best.

As well as using nest boxes to raise their young, many birds will use them to shelter from the elements.

 

8. Protect wild birds from cats

Cats are one of the biggest dangers to wild birds visiting gardens, and the cover that birds love can also benefit these predators. Using a bird table and positioning feeders in trees will help keep visiting birds out of reach. Siting nest boxes in areas inaccessible to cats will make them more appealing too. Cat collars with bells on is another tool that some people recommend.

 

We share our top ten easy provisions you can make to attract native birds to your garden throughout the year.

 

9. Learn from your birds

Take the time to watch and listen to the birds in your garden. You’ll soon spot which areas they love and the others that they avoid.

Birds will alarm call if they perceive a threat; often, they will spot a cat or sparrowhawk well before us humans do.

 

10. Feed the birds in your garden.

Feeding wild birds is one of the simple pleasures in life. Not only do the birds benefit hugely from the extra nutritional support, but they are also lovely creatures to watch.

Spending a few minutes each day watching them flit to and from a feeder is a great way to relax as well as learn a little more about our delightful wildlife.

We have made home-made bird feeders in the past. Our willow ball bird feeders hang in the trees away from predators. The birds love them, but they are not readily visible from the house.

 

Our DIY window bird feeder is made from an old cake pan and a tea strainer and allows us to watch our lovely wild birds eat their breakfast while we eat ours. It is a fantastic way to see birds close up while still keeping them safe from predators. #birdfeeder #windowbirdfeeder #homemadebirdfeeder

 

This DIY window bird feeder brings the birds in close and gives us a fantastic view of them as they feed.

Although winter is considered the most critical time for feeding birds, they benefit from being fed all year round. In an ideal world, your local environment would contain lots of natural bird food in the form of insects and seed heads. Still, birds can experience episodes of food shortage at any time of year and often appreciate any supplementary food provided.

 

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5 comments

Rosemary Saunders September 16, 2021 - 9:53 pm

I love to watch all the different birds that come to my garden feeders

Reply
Helen Woodhall September 12, 2021 - 2:36 pm

Fab!

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders October 30, 2021 - 11:27 pm

Thank you :)

Reply
Helen Woodhall September 12, 2021 - 2:36 pm

Love it!

Reply
Sarah - Craft Invaders October 30, 2021 - 11:27 pm

Thanks Helen :)

Reply