Attracting birds to your garden is the perfect sign that you’re doing something right when trying to create a more nature-friendly environment. There are so many things you can do when it comes to garden design to make it more attractive to these feathered friends, and this can range from the layout of your garden and the types of plants you have to the items you add and the food you put out. There are of course certain challenges to all of this too, and to help people out in creating more spaces that are safe for wild birds, we’ve decided to list some of our best tips.
One of the biggest concerns that bird lovers have is that of cats stalking and killing wildlife in their garden. Understandably, attracting birds means you’re going to be attracting predators too, and while this can be frustrating, it’s something that we just have to accept. There is no hard evidence that cats killing wildlife has any impact on their overall population at all, including wild birds.
It’s important to remember not to hard or trap any cat that has come into your garden. By all means, shoo them away or use humane deterrents, but domestic cats are protected by law and if you do decide to hurt the one you could not only be getting into some serious trouble but also be causing pain to the owner of that cat too.
Not only does the decision to place a bird feeder in your garden help to attract birds, but so does where you choose to place it. While many birds will frequent your garden to eat insects and plant seeds, adding a feeder that you can top up with food will expedite this process. It’s worth putting those feeders somewhere high where cats will have a hard time reaching, and it’s also a good idea to choose a squirrel proof feeder to make it difficult for them to steal all of the food.
Another good idea is to just cave to the needs of these wily critters and give them their squirrel feeder too! Squirrels are harmless and are just as much fun to watch as the birds, they’re just a bit greedy though. A squirrel feeder should help to keep their attention away from bird feeders, especially when they realise those squirrel-proof bird feeders are more trouble than they’re worth.
Types Of Food
This is partly dependent on the time of year, as birds will require different levels of nutrients as the seasons change. There are so many choices when it comes to what to feed the wild birds in your garden and visiting online stores like Little Peckers will show you just how many options you have. During the colder months in autumn and winter, you’ll want to put out high-fat foods like fat balls and suet to help these little creatures fatten up for some cold resistance. These fatty foods also provide lots of energy which helps them to stay warm to survive frost and snow.
Birds love to keep clean, but a birdbath also provides somewhere for them to rehydrate too. Placing one of these somewhere safe, away from areas where a predator can sneak up on them is ideal, such as away from fences and trees. The act of bathing for birds puts them in a slightly more vulnerable position as they focus on getting themselves clean. This is often the perfect time for a cat to pounce. The rain tends to keep these topped up, but in particularly hot and dry seasons, don’t forget to fill up that birdbath with cold water to help them out.
Some birds require that extra bit of security when nesting time rolls around. Consider adding some bird boxes to your garden, with varying entrance sizes for different species. Add a blue tit nest box to the side of your house so that they can safely settle in without the threat of being ambushed by the neighbourhood cats.
Your choice of plant life can have a significant impact on the types of birds in your garden, including fruit trees and berry bushes, plants that produce an abundance of edible seeds, and those that offer nesting materials. But also, you can choose certain plants that can serve as protection or even nesting sites as well.
Spikey bushes are a great deterrent to predatory animals like foxes and cats, whereas small birds can navigate their way through with relative ease. Holly is a great option here as they offer this protection as well as tasty red berries for blackbirds and song thrushes, just remember they’re not edible for humans. Certain plants will attract particular insect populations which in turn will bring along bug-catching birds too. Honeysuckle is a prime example of this as its strong scent attracts insects for birds to feast on.