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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.


cherry blossom on tree 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 shelter and food, but you need to have a garden large enough to accommodate them.

Avoid planting sycamore, horse chestnut and flowering cherry trees, as these do not attract the insects the birds enjoy.

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.

Although this sounds like a lot and a drastic overhaul for some gardens, accommodating just a couple of these features will make your garden all the more attractive to birds and should soon see it becoming filled with some regular visitors.

scarlet bird drinking from bird bath

Author Bio:

Written by Marion Cointre European Ecommerce Content Specialist at Wild Bird Feeders.

Wildbirdfeeders.co.uk – Your Ultimate Bird Resource. We are Perky Pet®, Birdscapes®, Garden Song® and Avant® 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.





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