How to Attract Birds to Your Garden
Attracting wild birds to your garden can be incredibly enjoyable and rewarding for any keen gardener. Here is how to make your garden a welcome environment and attract many species of wild birds.
Leave out Bird Food:
Nothing will attract birds to your garden quicker than food! Simply install an appropriate bird feeder and watch the birds come to feast. Seeds, nuts and suet balls (fat balls) are a firm favourite of many bird species and using a mix in a tube feeder or feeding table is a great way of attracting different species.
When purchasing bird feed, keep an eye out for a label that states "Nil detectable signs of aflatoxin", this will ensure that the feed is entirely safe to eat. If you want to opt for a more natural feed, meal worms are ideal for birds as they provide plenty of moisture and protein that are needed to survive.
Larger birds like magpies or other pests like squirrels can sometimes take over the feed and will scare off many of the smaller species that you want to attract. If this occurs, special feeders such as cage feeders allow just enough space for small birds to get through the gaps and deter larger, unwelcome guests.
Keep in mind you may want to give the feeder a quick wash down with some soapy water every couple of weeks just to keep any dirt and dangerous bacteria away.
Add a Water Feature:
Bird baths or other free flowing water features such as a pond are ideal for birds to drink and bathe in. Gardens that include such features will become much more attractive to many bird species as a constant source of water is essential to wildlife.
Bird baths that slope to ~ 8cm are ideal for a wide variety of bird species, adding a number of stones in the center of it can also help even the smallest of birds get in and out easier.
Install a Bird Box:
With a safe place to nest, a bird box is an ideal way to ensure that birds will keep coming back all summer long. Before you go hammering the nails in to install your bird box, keep in mind that the box location is key. If you place the box too low, or it can't protect them from predators and the elements it will simply go unused. They are typically built to last so once installed in a safe spot should see birds coming and going year on year.
If you are tech-savvy, bird nest camera kits are fairly inexpensive and allow you to watch the entire process. You'll be able to see the nest construction, the young chicks hatching and eventually taking their first steps and flying away.
Keep on top of General Garden Maintenance:
If you want to invite wildlife over to your garden, keep it habitable! The best way to do so is to keep on top of your regular garden maintenance and ensure that any dead trees and leaves are removed.
Other plants and bushes that can provide natural cover for birds are highly sought after as it provides a place to hide from predators and a potential nesting site.