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Advice Bird information Attracting birds to your garden

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Attracting-birds
Blue tits and great tits on feeder

There is nothing better than spending a crisp winter morning enjoying birds hopping on and off your bird camera feeder or watching birds attracting their mates to your camera bird box. It can give you hours of pleasure and can become very addictive, especially when you see them playfully flitting around feeding, chirping all in your very own garden.

Problem over recent times.
It is widely stated that many natural habitats have diminished due to the cleaning up of gardens and reducing the main ecological attractors like space, water, food, and shelter. Sadly, also some of our native birds have diminished too. But, don’t despair, there is a lot you can do.

Tips on how to attract birds
Attracting birds can very easy to do and don’t have to take much time, effort of money. By doing so, you will help your local birds as well a give you a lot of pleasure. Here are a few tips on how to help attract and keep birds visiting your garden.

Tip 1: Think of space for attracting birds to your garden.
What do we mean by space? Not that dark stuff in the sky, but giving your birds the right habitat to thrive in. The more inviting you make it, the more the birds will come and more enjoyment you will have. Most gardens may be restrictive in size, but you can think horizontally as well as vertically, covering the following:

  • Plant bird attractive native trees for perches and cover and shade for all birds ie: birch, hawhorn, ash etc.
  • Plant bird ornamental native trees that give a valuable food source ie Crab apples, cherries etc.
  • Plant a hedgerow around your garden to allow birds to nest and feed in ie privit, roses, hawthorn.

Plants-attracting-birds
Perfect bird habitat

  • Plant wall and fence creepers to create a good place to hide and feed from.
  • Have a little lawn. This is ideal for encouraging larger birds to feed on worms.
  • Plant native plants of all sizes and diversities to encourage insects to stay which is vital for feeding of wild birds. Think aso of plants that yield berries, seed and fruit.
  • Leave parts of the garden to be wild (Great I know). This will allow cover and shade for insects and feeding birds. Also, try and retain some dead headed plants for feed through autumn/winter months. (I know, any excuse to leave it)

By having cover, you can place your wildlife camera in several hidden locations.

Tip 2: Think of water for attracting birds to your garden.
All birds need to drink regularly. They often have to fly for many meters or miles for a good drink to re-hydrate them and keep their feathers in good condition. Try to:

  • Create a bird bath with varied depth for various sized birds. Throw in some rocks for them to perch on.
  • Place bird bath near cover, so they can hop onto branches easily. But not too close that cats can leave out of the hedgerow.
  • Try to have moving water. Birds seem to be attracted to moving water.
  • Try to keep water clean and ice free. They will reward you by visiting all the time.

Why not try placing your wildlife camera near a bird bath to see how they drink and bathe all year round.

Attracting-great-tit-birdbath
Great tit loving the water

Bird-feeder-for-attracting-birds
Watch birds feed

Tip 3: Think of food for attracting birds to your garden.
Food is very important and can also be a great way to enjoy them too. Most birds eat most types of nuts, seeds, fats and fruit. However, here are a few tips for you to try:

  • Keep your feeder near to cover if you can. Not to close that cats or squirrels get near.
  • Try to keep all feeding stations off the ground. Although, putting a bit of feed on the ground to attract ground feeding birds. But, keep an eye out for any potential predators feeding too.
  • Keep feeding stations clean and free from disease. Pour over some boiling water now and again to clean off.
  • Don’t put feeding stations to near nest boxes as the noise may affect any occupants.
  • Feeders are perfect, try different feeds for different types of birds. Some prefer seeds, fruit and fat.
  • Experiment with various feed to attract different types of birds. Try sunflower hearts, millet seeds, varied seed mixes as well as fat products and live feed too.

Use a bird camera kit to place into your bird table. Alternatively, watch birds enjoy themselves on a camera feeder. It will give you hours of pleasure.

Tip 4: Think of shelter for attracting birds to your garden.

Along with space, shelter is very important to welcome birds to your garden. Bird boxes or nest boxes encourage birds to mate and stay within the garden. Evidence shows that many birds generations stay in the local area year on year. By having a nest box, you are giving a chance to increase numbers and with a camera nest box, you can enjoy them too. Try these tips:

  • If space allows, try placing nest boxes with different sized holes for different birds.
  • Don’t put boxes to close to each other. Some birds are territorial and therefore can affect occupancy if to close.
  • Don’t place your nest box in too exposed areas facing the worse of the weather, or in direct sun.
  • Try to position your boxes near quieter parts of the garden. Too many birds or too much noise can affect their occupancy.
  • Clean your nest box once a year to help occupancy. Autumn is a good time for this. In fact, it you are only legally allowed to empty a box during Oct/Jan (UK Countryside Act 1981)
  • Position box 1.5-5m above the ground safe from predators
  • Make sure box is dry and has ventilation holes. Our nest boxes are larger than average boxes allowing plenty of room for a variety of birds.
Try a bird camera nest box. You will not only be able to give your birds a habitat but you can enjoy them too.

attracting-birds-bird-box
Don't forget your nest box

Finally
We hope these tips help you get the best out of your garden and attract and help increase our native bird numbers. Please let us know if there are any other good tips to add.

Further reading
BTO - For various ways to feed birds
BBC for pointers various bird boxes and attracting birds
Wild about Britain - For discussions on birds and attraction

Keywords used
Attracting birds, garden, feeding, bird boxes, garden, feeders, feed birds, bird food, Siting a nestbox

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