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How to attract birds to your garden

The term ‘garden birds’ encapsulates any species of bird that visit our gardens. During the summer months, you are likely to hear more birds than you see, as they tend to spend their time hiding in shade and seeking out baths to cool down in.

Why are gardens important for birds?

Over, recent years, numbers of once-common birds have dropped dramatically as they are forced to compete with increased development intensification of farming and habitat loss. This means gardens provide solace for creatures looking for a stable habitat. Together, the 16 million gardens across the UK form an area for wildlife larger than all the National Nature Reserves (NNR).

Encouraging birds to visit your garden is an easy and great way to help. We have included some handy tips below:

Set up a bird feeding station

When you step up a feeding station in your garden, there are a few things to bear in mind. Firstly, finding the right location for the feeder is very important for several reasons. If the location you choose is too sunny or windy, this may deter birds in certain weather conditions. It is also important to check that the birds will have a clear enough spot to be able to watch for other birds and prowling cats as they eat.

Secondly, the type of food you put in the feeder. If you want to attract different types of birds to your garden, try adding different foods to different feeders. This way, you will not get one type of bird taking over. You will also be able to tell if your food has been a hit as they will often throw away foods they do not like. Recommended foods to put in your feeder are seeds, fruit, nectar, nuts, suet and bugs. It is best to steer clear of bread or table scraps as this may encourage aggressive birds.

Finally, the secret ingredient, just add water. Even if the birds are wary of your feeder, they always require a fresh source of water to drink, especially in the warmer months.

What plants are birds attracted to?

If you are unsure about setting up a feeding station in your garden, there are other ways you can help. Even a small garden can provide a selection of natural food sources for birds all year round. The top ten plants for attracting birds to your garden include: Holly, ivy, hawthorn, honeysuckle, rowan, teasel, cotoneaster, sunflower, guelder rose and shrub rose. Not only do these plants provide food for birds but they can also act as shelter and nesting areas.

The other benefit of making your garden bird-friendly is how great it is for your own wellbeing. Find out why gardening is great for the body and mind here.

Set up a nesting area

Just like your feeders, the location of nesting areas should also be carefully considered. Most garden centres will be able to advise you on the suitability of your box dependent on the birds you are looking to attract. It is recommended that you face a nest box between north and east as this helps to provide protection from all weather conditions. Be mindful of other birds already in the area. If you notice frequent activity in nearby hedgerows, it may be better to look for an alternative location so the birds that make your nesting box their home feel nice and secure.

It is recommended that old nests be removed in the autumn once birds have stopped occupying the box so that a new pair can make the most of it the following year.

At Platinum Skies we recognise the need to create outdoor areas for our wildlife to flourish. Find out more about living at one of our developments by clicking here.

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