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5 Steps to a bird friendly garden
A garden that attracts nature can be a wonderful place – not
a wild, overgrown sanctuary for pests, but a beautiful garden that both you
and your garden visitors can enjoy. Attracting birds to your garden is quite
simple, and encourages birds into an environment where they are naturally
found. With birds decreasing in numbers, making your garden bird friendly
will also help to reverse that statistic – hopefully encouraging breeding
and nesting. Bringing more birds to your garden will also bring you hours of
entertainment as you watch them.
1. Plant trees
There are many types of plants you can
grow in your garden that will provide food, water and shelter for birds.
Plants can also provide nesting sites or materials, and help birds escape
from predators. If you don’t want to change your garden drastically, you
could devote one part of your garden to having bird friendly plants – like a
fruit bearing tree and a flower bed that has gone to seed.
|Fruit bearing trees such as apple, pear|
and plum trees provide not only fruit to feed on but also attract insects
which make up the diet of many birds. Fruit trees will take up much less
room in your garden.
Trees such as oak, willows and beech are perfect for
Avoid planting sycamore, horse chestnut and flowering cherry trees, as
2. Plant shrubs
Trees take a long time to grow, but
hedges and shrubs are fast and easy to grow. They provide nest sites and
shelter, and are good alternatives for gardens too small for a fruit bearing
tree. Birds love to take up residence in hawthorn or privet hedges, and
Leylandii also provide shelter with their dense foliage, but be on guard
that they don’t take over your garden. If space is at a minimum, ivy,
clematis and honeysuckle all grow up walls and are great for birds.
3. Grow flowers
Flowers attract birds too, with
favourites being seed-bearing plants like sunflowers and foxgloves. Blue
Tits feed their young on caterpillars so planting primroses and buddleia
will help these birds to feed their chicks and flourish in your garden. A
relaxed approach to gardening – avoiding chemical sprays, letting plants die
naturally, leaving leaves and fallen fruit, and letting flowers go to seed –
may be going against the instincts of a keen gardener, but all these things
are helpful to your gardens wildlife, especially birds. Simply leave the
birds to rid the garden of pests for you!
4. Keep a nice lawn
You most likely already have a lawn in
place, and keeping it lush and thriving will mean that birds like robins,
blackbirds and thrushes can search for worms on it. Keeping your lawn
watered encourages worms to the surface.
Green woodpeckers eat ants, so if you
have an ants nest in your garden – don’t disturb it. Ants are also helpful
in clearing the garden of natural debris, but just be careful not to let
them nest too close to your house where they can become a pest problem.
5. Provide food and water
Although you are already providing food
for your birds through your choice of plants, they will often need a boost
with bird feeders
and tables. Placing these items close to your house will allow you to view
the birds as they feed – but make sure they are still close to some plants
like mixed shrubs, herbaceous plants or a herb garden. Try different types
of bird food at different times of the year, and add a bird bath to your
garden so that the birds have somewhere to drink from and bathe in.
|The ideal garden for attracting birds|
would have a lawn, a bird table and bath, flower beds, shrubs, seed-bearing
plants, bird feeders, nest boxes and a rockery full of insects.
Written by Marion Cointre European
Ecommerce Content Specialist at Wild Bird Feeders.
– Your Ultimate Bird Resource. We are Perky PetÂ®, BirdscapesÂ®, Garden SongÂ®
and AvantÂ® Garden – four strong brands recognised as world leaders in the
wild bird feeding category! We offer the broadest and deepest selection of
quality bird feeding products at competitive prices.