6 Ways of Attracting Birds to Your Garden

Posted by admin on Jun 27, 2019 under Uncategorized
Photo credit: Naturalism14/Shutterstock

Many of us instinctively intuit the profound shifts in mood which the natural environment can effect in humans. Connections between happiness and environmental aspects are no longer just anecdotal; a growing body of scientific literature has come to affirm this most primordial of human insights.

Data collected through a phone app has confirmed that time spent in natural environments impacts human mental and physical health positively. In order to make time spent in your garden more enjoyable so that you can reap the full benefits of outdoor lounging, you should think about increasing both the flora and fauna in your backyard.

We have already gone through ways of attracting wildlife to your garden. Let us now turn our attention to bird lovers and provide specific ways of attracting birds to your garden.

How to Attract Birds to Your Garden

  1. Plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs
  2. Install a Birdbath (or a few)
  3. Provide nesting places and nesting materials
  4. Install bird feeders
  5. Take up environmentally friendly gardening techniques
  6. Plant evergreen trees
Photo credit: Marina Hannus/Shutterstock

1. Plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs

Planting fruit-bearing trees is a great way of attracting birds to your garden. Birds are more likely to visit a yard which provides shelter and food – fruiting trees and shrubs offer just that.

Some of the best trees and shrubs to plant include:

  • Rowan
  • Teasel
  • Honeysuckle
  • Hawthorn
  • Cotoneaster
  • Berberis
  • Prycantha
  • Ivy
  • Holly

These will either directly provide food for birds (through their fruiting bodies) or will indirectly make food available (by attracting various insects which birds feed on). Furthermore, they can also act as nesting spots for all sorts of bird species.

Photo credit: Bonnie Taylor Barry/Shutterstock

2. Install a birdbath (or a few)

A birdbath is a small basin which one can install for birds to bathe in. Birds that feed exclusively on seeds need water in order to wash down their dry meals. A birdbath will encourage them to stop by your garden as part of their daily routine; perhaps this will even incentivise them to set up shop there on a more permanent basis.

One aspect to be mindful of is the fact that, in areas which are prone to harsher winters than say Southern England, the water in your birdbaths can freeze and end up damaging the whole structure as the ice expands. Changing the water regularly can keep this from happening. Another solution is to place a small ball in the water; the ball will constantly move around on the water’s surface and keep it from freezing. Whatever you do, don’t use salt to defreeze or keep the water from freezing – birds can process small quantities of salt, but medium to large quantities will be deadly.

Furthermore, you should make sure to keep the water clean as birds can catch diseases after bathing in dirty water.  

Photo credit: Michael Schroeder/Shutterstock

3. Provide nesting places and nesting materials

Encouraging birds to nest in your garden might be easier than you think. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Buy pre-build nest boxes

A well-placed nest box can dramatically increase your chances of becoming a landlord for nesting birds. Cavity nesting birds are always on the lookout for a good spot to settle down and the high-quality nesting boxes available on the market nowadays will act as perfect nests.

  • Let your hedges grow out

Many bird species nest in overgrown hedges as these provide more shelter and security than neatly trimmed ones. A great excuse to skip your gardening chores!

  • Place raw materials for nesting all over your garden

Placing short pieces of string, yarn, human or pet hair in small bags or containers in your garden will make it easier for birds to build nests. Placing these containers next to where your bird feeder or birdbath is will ensure that the birds see it and will encourage them to nest in your garden.

Photo credit: Ancha Chiangmai/Shutterstock

4. Install bird feeders

Just like birdbaths, birdfeeders will provide your winged friends with an essential element needed for survival. You can either buy ready-made bird feeders or make your own. We recommend the latter just because you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun building these things.

Check these links out for a few creative ideas that you could make yourself:

Remember, different birds prefer different foods. Do a bit of research on what birds are native to your area and what they like to eat so that you can fill your bird feeders with whatever they prefer.   

Furthermore, keep in mind that, just like you monitor your birdbaths, you should regularly check the feeders in order to make sure than the seeds don’t become mouldy. Also keep an eye out for birds which look sick (usually these have fluffed up feathers and other visible signs of disease). If you see a sick bird use the feeder, try to sterilise it immediately in order to keep others from being infected.

5. Take up environmentally friendly gardening techniques

It’s not enough to install bird feeders and baths or to provide birds with nesting materials, water, and food; if you use pesticides and other chemicals when you garden, birds will avoid your backyard like the plague.

There are plenty of green pesticides which you can use that won’t keep birds away. Wherever possible, try sustainable gardening techniques such as planting perennial multi-purpose plants or reusing and recycling materials in your garden.

Photo credit: YK/Shutterstock

6. Plant evergreen trees

We’ve talked about the benefits of planting fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, however, evergreen trees (even those which don’t produce fruit) are a great way of attracting birds to your garden.

Evergreen tress can attract diverse species of wild birds, are taller than shrubs, and usually taller than most fruit-bearing trees. Having a good variety of tree heights is good because some birds prefer nesting closer to the ground while others like being higher up.

Of course, the main benefit of evergreens is that they can provide the same shelter and security for birds in winter as they do in summer.

Photo credit: all_about_people/Shutterstock

Sit Back and Enjoy your Birdwatching Paradise

Getting birds to nest in your garden might take a bit of time, so be patient. You might need to move the bird feeders, birdbaths, and nesting places around if you notice you’re not attracting enough birds. However, if you follow the techniques laid out in this post you’re guaranteed to have a few nests in your garden soon enough.

Once that’s happened, you can start thinking about what garden furniture to bring in so that you can comfortably enjoy birdwatching. If you’re working with a small outdoor space, check out our guide to the best garden furniture for small gardens.

Furthermore, if you’re in an area which has a large fox population, you’ll be well served by our post detailing how to keep foxes out of your garden. Foxes are omnivores and birds are some of their favourite animals to prey on; they might soon wise up to the fact that your bird-rich garden is an excellent feeding spot.

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