Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:48 pm
Attracting birds to your garden can bring life, color, and natural music to your outdoor space. To get birds back into your garden, consider the following tips:
1. Provide Food:
- Bird feeders are a great way to entice birds to visit your garden. Different bird species have varied dietary preferences, so offer a mix of seeds, suet, and nectar in suitable feeders. Research the types of birds in your area to cater to their specific needs.
2. Native Plants:
- Plant native flowers, shrubs, and trees in your garden. These plants provide natural sources of food, such as seeds, nectar, and berries, which attract birds. Native plants also support local ecosystems.
3. Water Features:
- Birds are drawn to water. Install a bird bath, pond, or fountain to provide a source of clean, fresh water for them to drink and bathe in.
4. Nesting Sites:
- Create nesting sites by installing birdhouses, nesting boxes, and suitable tree branches in your garden. Different bird species have different preferences for nesting locations, so offer a variety of options.
5. Avoid Pesticides:
- Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides in your garden, as these can harm birds directly or indirectly by reducing their food sources.
6. Seasonal Plants:
- Plant a variety of flowers and shrubs that bloom at different times of the year. This ensures a consistent food source for birds throughout the seasons.
7. Provide Shelter:
- Trees, shrubs, and dense foliage provide shelter for birds from predators and harsh weather. Make sure your garden offers a variety of hiding spots.
8. Be Patient:
- Attracting birds may take time. It can be weeks or even months before they become regular visitors. Be patient and maintain a welcoming environment.
9. Keep Cats Indoors:
- If you have cats, keep them indoors to protect birds from predation. Cats are a major threat to local bird populations.
10. Offer a Variety of Foods: – To attract a diverse range of bird species, offer a variety of bird foods. Different birds have different diets, and catering to a wider range of tastes increases the likelihood of attracting more species.
11. Regular Maintenance: – Maintain bird feeders, clean bird baths, and keep your garden free from hazards. Regular maintenance ensures that your garden remains a safe and inviting space for birds.
12. Be Observant: – Spend time in your garden observing the birds. Keep a pair of binoculars and a bird identification guide handy to better appreciate and identify the species that visit.
Remember that birds have different preferences, and the types of birds you attract can depend on your geographic location, available resources, and the time of year. With a little effort, you can create a bird-friendly garden that provides habitat, food, and water for a wide variety of feathered friends.
Plant the right plants in the garden to attract birds
Some trees and shrubs are particularly attractive to birds in the garden. This is particularly true of the elder tree, whose bark shelters spiders and insects that nuthatches and chickadees love to eat. As for its juicy black berries, they are especially appealing to blackbirds, warblers and the delicate nightingale. Hawthorn, aucuba, berberis, bush-arden, ornamental apple tree (very appreciated by the blackbird, the thrush or the elegant robin), blackthorn, pyracantha, wild brambles, bird sorb… You can associate these other berry bushes with this shrub to invite variety in your garden and to give strength and energy to the migratory birds passing through.
More surprisingly, you can also rely on ivy, a real haunt for aphids, mites, spiders and small insects eaten by the wren or the wren. Climbing ivy provides a safe hiding place for doves and sparrows. Finally, some rose bushes are also highly recommended. Rough roses, burnet, rosehips… you can go for it with your eyes closed.
Plenty of food for all the chicks
In addition to shrubs rich in fruits and berries, you can of course also offer food directly to birds with fixed feeders. Simply place them high up in an open area protected from rodents and cats. And if possible, make sure to keep the foot of the feeder clear for freeloaders that like to eat on the ground, like the finch. Moreover, you will have to clean their ‘plate’ from time to time to limit the risks of transmission of salmonellosis.
Seeds, insects, fruits… The more varied your food sources, the more hospitable the different species of birds will find the places. Good additions include:
-Almonds or hazelnuts for chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches
-Crushed peanuts ideal for chickadees, sparrows, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and tarins
-Wheat and barley seeds to please all granivorous birds
-Black sunflower seeds for goldfinches, grosbeaks, chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches
-Wheat and barley for ground pecking birds such as buntings, sparrows, pigeons, finches and turtle doves
-And finally corn to attract buntings, juncos, sparrows, finches and tohis.
Keep a light hand on pesticides
Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides… Chemical plant protection products are very bad for the planet. Without letting diseases and invasions of insect pests proliferate, we can find a happy medium by opting for natural solutions that will not kill everything in their path! Let’s remember that birds, important auxiliaries in our green spaces, consume these insects that we are trying to hunt and kill. In the end, a garden without insects is no longer welcoming to them (nor is it healthy, since each one plays a role in this ecosystem!). So go natural, especially by forgetting the chemical slug pellets that destroy the food of blackbirds and thrushes.
In addition, let the mulched flowers and flowerbeds flourish in your little open-air paradise and add compost if you can. It will soon be rich in worms and insects to feed the fledglings and will enrich the garden naturally.
Install a watering hole in the garden for the birds
Watering holes allow them to hydrate and groom themselves if needed. A watering hole, a fountain, a small pond… this little addition will certainly bring the birds back to your little garden!
Beware of bird predators in the garden
Birds are vulnerable to frequent attacks from various predators (cats, dogs, etc.). You should therefore provide a high shelter to protect them, for example against a wall, on a tree or in a high bush. If you decide to install nesting boxes, feeders and watering troughs, this will guarantee their tranquility. If not, you can also leave twigs, branches or mud within their beak’s reach to allow them to set up their own shelter under a gutter for example. They will not fail to return there over the years.
Last important point: pruning! Although this gesture is essential in gardening, the gardener must always take care not to disturb the nesting. Thus, the pruning is to be carried out mainly before the end of March without forgetting to check beforehand to identify the possible nests already occupied. Also for the maintenance of the garden, avoid mowing your lawn too short.