Attracting more of our native birds to the garden is a great way to enjoy and help nature, while adding more beauty to your outdoor space. Birds are also lovely to see and watch as they go about their business. It’s beneficial to have them in the garden too: they’ll happily eat lots of pests that would otherwise ruin your lovely blooms or homegrown veg. Not only that, but birdwatching is also great for our own mental health by reducing stress and anxiety and connecting us with nature.
Easy Ways to Attract More Birds to the Garden
The good news is attracting birds to the garden is quite easy. All that you need to do is create the right environment for them. Here’s how you can do that:
Birds are always foraging for food. So arguably the best way to encourage them to visit is to provide some tasty food sources. Birds love things like worms, insects, seeds, nuts, suet and more. Take a look at our other guide on what birds like to eat for a full run through.
Once they know there’s a tasty food source there they’ll visit regularly.
Additionally, where, and how the food is available contributes to the process. Feeders, and tables will attract many species of birds. However, different species prefer to eat in different ways. Some prefer feeders over tables, some prefer ground feeding trays, so consider this too if the type of birds you want to attract is important. Blue tits will use a feeder and a table, whereas robins will prefer to eat from a ground tray. Chaffinches are versatile and will eat from anywhere really, as will quite a few other bird species. Tree branches are good places to hang some bird feeders on too.
Final tip, keep the feeding areas clean and don’t let old food mount up as it can go off, which can potentially make birds ill if they happen to eat anything on the turn.
Birds will need fresh clean water too, so they can drink and bathe. You can buy a made-for-purpose bird bath or repurpose a dinner plate or shallow bowl for a while. Any plant trays going spare would also work. Just keep it clean and give them fresh water each day.
Plant Native Plants
Some native plants and trees in the garden will also encourage more birds to you. For instance, evergreen plant varieties will provide good cover all year round. There’s also a whole host of plants and trees that will provide seeds, berries, and nectar. Some examples include the rowan tree, which produces berries in late summer/autumn that birds will eat. Cotoneaster will also produce small red berries on its branches, sunflowers will make a plentiful number of seeds too packed in their centres, and shrub roses produce rose hips of varying sizes that many bird species will eat. Ivy and honeysuckle are also great for their dense cover, fruits, and the number of insects they attract that the birds can enjoy.
Provide Nesting Areas
Birds need shelter and places to build a nest. Put up birdhouses or boxes in your garden or provide birds with natural materials such as twigs and leaves so they can build nests of their own. If opting for boxes, keep in mind that some birds prefer different types. For instance, robins would prefer open nest boxes that are placed low to the ground hidden by a hedge, shrub, or plants. Small-holed nest boxes would be suitable for a range of small birds such as tits. Thick bushes and evergreen trees can also offer good places for them to nest on their own so if going down the native planting route keep this in mind. When attracting birds to the garden is your aim, a nice nest location with a nearby source of food is too good to resist!
Birds are easily scared away by loud noises or people being too close to them. Set up any feeding areas in a quiet place where they won’t be disturbed. Make sure it’s safe too by placing away from any places a predator could hide in wait, and ensure it is a sheltered spot away from any garden tool hazards and not exposed to strong winds.
Finally, remember to have it somewhere you can see from the house!
Start Attracting More Birds to the Garden
Following these steps will help create an inviting environment that encourages birds to make your garden their home. With just a little effort, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of birds in your garden. Happy bird watching!