There are many things you can do you make your garden more attractive to birds — one of the easiest things you can do is put some food out for them. They will visit your garden if there's plenty of food available, so one of the first things you'll need to do is prepare seed and peanut feeders. Once you've sorted the food, then you can focus on providing wild birds with other natural foods, shelter and nesting areas in your garden.
No matter how big or small your garden is, it should be easy to attract birds. The type of species will increase with the size, proximity to countryside, woodland and how bird-friendly your garden is. Nuthatches for example, are never too far from mature trees, whereas other birds such as sparrow hawks can be found in cities.
You must ensure that you meet the needs of your birds throughout the year. For example, planting bushes with berries for thrushes is great — but they will soon strip the crop — so during the months when the berries have gone you will need to supply fruit for them to feed on. During the winter months you should always provide fat blocks — these will also attract starlings.
Providing dense cover is important as this will entice nesting dunnocks, robins and wrens. Nest boxes are ideal for tits and other hole-nesters. During the summer months, tits and sparrows will make the most of thriving insect populations. If you have times where there aren't many birds in your garden, you'll need to think about things that you can do to make it more attractive for that time of year. Make sure your feeders are always full — as birds will return for food and rely on you to provide them with food, so a full feeder should help to encourage regular visits from birds.
Here's a brief seasonal guide:
- Help with nest building by leaving bunches of twigs and dried moss near your feeders.
- Keep feeders well stocked and hold off from trimming hedges as wild birds may be nesting.
- Avoid leaving out dry food like stale bread, which can dehydrate birds — soak the bread first.
- Keep birdbaths full to tempt wrens and dunnocks looking for a morning dip.
- Put out plenty of seeds, nuts and berries at this time of year.
- Let seed heads form on flowers and weeds to attract finches or goldfinches.
- Clear snow from ground feeding areas and remove ice from birdbaths.
- Trim hedges after birds have eaten the berries, ahead of nesting season.