Even on a wet Morning as I look out from the kitchen,there’s always so much going on in our garden probably because we live on the edge of open countryside. Starlings and Sparrows seem to love the gardens especially if we put out some seed or even some bread. Other varieties also make appearances from time to time making even a raining day special.
Encouraging birds to any garden is easy if you do just a few simple things. Provide them with shelter in the form of trees, hedges and shrubs, add a few nest boxes, make sure there is a clean source of water and of course, feed them. It’s also really important to make sure there is plenty of natural invertebrate food for many different species including warblers in the summer, but also for nestlings when birds are breeding and this means avoiding pesticides of all types in the garden.
Predators (including your birds) will soon build up in number to establish a balance in your garden and you will find you have few, if any problems with pests. Many of our native bird species are declining in number because of loss of habitat, nest sites and natural food in the wild. We can all help them by encouraging them to feed and breed in your garden. Making your garden a haven for birds can be achieved in a number of different ways.
Feeding your birds Feeding the birds with seed mixes and peanuts, which more than thirty percent of us do in one form or another, is a very important aspect of wildlife-friendly gardening and nowadays contributes to the conservation and survival of many species. It is important to use good quality mixes of seeds, sunflower seeds or peanuts, to ensure that you are not introducing disease of any kind. Cleaning your feeders and bird tables is also necessary. There are several bacterial and viral diseases that affect our birds and these can be passed from one to another in their droppings. Many types of feeder are available, but do make sure you keep them clean at all times.
Water is also vital to your garden birds. A tiny barrel pond (like this one in the picture) will bring birds of all species to drink and bath. If you have room for a bigger pond you will be creating a habitat for all manner of wildlife as well as keeping your garden birds supplied with water for bathing and drinking.If you enjoy watching the birds in your garden, and would be interested in helping with a Garden Bird Survey, the BTO runs a Garden BirdWatch scheme.