Attracting Birds Into The Garden
It is a real joy to sit and watch garden birds as they go about their daily activities, and if you provide food and water for them you will attract all sorts of species that will become regular visitors into your garden.
Below are a few of the most popular:
● Mealworms are full of protein and will attract robins and thrushes
● Sunflower seeds or hearts are loved by finches and are high in oil, protein and unsaturated fats
● Niger seeds are rich in fat and loved by finches.
● Peanuts can be put out for finches, sparrows and tits. They have a high oil content, making them very energy efficient. However, peanuts can be a choking hazard, especially to young birds, so they are best offered from a feeder.
● Suet feeders, fat balls etc will attract many varieties of garden birds that all like these high energy treats.
You can purchase mixed seed that will attract a variety of birds to the garden and then there is also the question of which feeder to use. Some birds such as goldfinches like hanging feeders, while others such as chaffinches prefer ground feeders and bird tables.
Some household leftovers can also be used to feed birds such as cooked potato and cheese, dried fruit including raisins and sultanas, but bear in mind that these will attract other creatures as well and it is best to place any food on a high feeder to deter them.
It is recommended that you feed birds all year round and not just in winter, giving them high protein food in spring and high fat food in autumn and winter.
Feeders should be kept clean and dry to reduce the risk of causing illnesses such as Salmonella and Bird Flu. Look out for safe detergents to use for cleaning.
Birds love berries and if you have room you can plant blackberry, elderberry or holly to attract them. If you grow sunflowers in the garden, try leaving the flower heads on the plants watch the birds feast on them. Birds are also great at controlling pests by feeding on various insects.
Provide fresh water for birds to drink from and bathe in. Change the water regularly and clean the bird bath/container to prevent algae from forming.
Providing bird boxes will give birds somewhere safe to roost and nest, but ensure that these are positioned in safe places where predators such as cats, rats or squirrels can’t reach them.