You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need a large garden or even a garden at all to see birds. Instead, you can create a bird-friendly garden or area by taking advantage of your local wildlife and ensuring your garden provides food, water, shelter, and other habitat requirements. Hopefully, we can show you how to do just that!
Know your local birds
If you’re going to be successful in attracting birds to your garden, it’s essential to know the birds local to your area. The first step is learning what types of birds are native to your location, at what seasons they are likely to be around and what kind of habitat they prefer. Do some internet research, or go to the library and check out some books about local birds.
Once you’ve done that, find out what food the birds eat and where they get their water. Most UK native species rely heavily on insects for food during the breeding season and autumn migration. However, many birds feed on seeds or berries in winter when insect populations drop off significantly due to cold temperatures outside and lack of sunlight. Many migratory species also need access to water to quench their thirst while travelling through unfamiliar territory during their long journeys every year so make sure there are plenty of sources of clean drinking water available in your garden.
If you live in the UK, here’s a list of some of the birds you may be able to attract to your garden with some minor changes to your garden layout.
- Collared Dove
- Great Tit
- Wood pigeon
- Blue Tit
- House Sparrow
- Carrion Crow
- Coal Tit
- Long-tailed Tit
Ok so let’s get started
Make sure your garden has multiple habitat types.
- Provide different habitat types to attract other birds. For example, you can build a tub garden filled with water plants and floating islands in the summer and then turn it into an earthy hibernation haven for birds in winter.
- Make sure your garden has multiple habitat types so that you’re providing food and shelter for different species at different times of the year.
Provide food and water
Provide food and water. The first step to setting up your birdwatching garden is providing food and water. Birds are hungry, thirsty animals, so you’ll want to ensure they have plenty of options when it comes time for them to eat or drink. Some good things to consider include seeds and nuts, fruit, berries (including grapes if you’re lucky enough to have them), and bird seed blends containing cheerios or millet flakes—things that birds like but won’t make your space look like a mess!
In addition to these options for birdseed, don’t forget about the water element: if there’s no water source in your garden space, then it’s best not to use any birdseed at all! Water features can include small ponds or streams with running fountains built into them; even just a simple bowl filled with fresh drinking water will suffice here too! If possible, keep these features clean once every month by scrubbing down any algae growths on the surface area where they sit: this will ensure they stay clean.
With water features and birdbaths, keep in mind the right depth for different species – shallow enough for smaller birds but deep enough not to freeze over during winter months if you live somewhere where temperatures dip below freezing point.
Add some shelter
Once you’ve set up your garden, it’s time to ensure that birds have a safe place for relaxation. Birds prefer to rest and perch in areas where they’re out of the way of predators, so give them some shelter by adding a birdhouse or nest box. Make sure that these are at least 10 feet off the ground—birds don’t like sitting too close to the ground since they’re vulnerable there. You can also plant some trees and shrubs at the edge of your backyard to provide cover from predators.
A birdbath is also an essential part of any habitat—water is crucial for keeping birds hydrated during hot weather, so they’ll come back every day (or even multiple times per day) if there’s fresh water available! In addition, birdbaths should ideally be filled with shallow water so that small birds can access it without too much danger. Finally, an excellent tip to keep in mind is to be careful of the material under the water. Birds are unlikely to settle if you create a highly reflective surface due to the fear of their reflection.
Leave some dead wood in the garden.
When planning your garden for birdwatching, it’s essential to leave some dead wood in the garden. Deadwood provides shelter, food and water for birds. It also provides a place for birds to nest, roost and hide from predators.
You can build a bird-friendly garden to watch birds all year long.
A good bird-friendly garden will have various habitat types, including trees, shrubs and hedges. If you want to attract all kinds of birds, create sheltered areas with dense foliage where they can hide from predators or shelter from the weather.
This kind of garden also needs lots of food for your feathered friends to eat: fruit and nuts are good, but so are simple things like dead leaves, which are high in protein and low fat. You can also add nectar-rich plants such as lavender or bee balm (Monarda didyma) to provide another source of nutrition.
Finally, don’t forget the water! Birds need fresh water at all times, so build them a birdbath into your garden design with the right depth for different species – shallow enough for smaller birds but deep enough not to freeze during winter months if you live somewhere where temperatures dip below freezing point.
Go, get on with it.
There are many ways to create a bird-friendly garden. These are some of the best practices that can be used in any garden. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our tips for getting started with birdwatching, and we wish you luck with all your birding adventures!
If you have comments or tips of your own please add them to the comments
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