Most often they don’t just fly into your garden, you will need to attract them there and I’m going to teach you how. Back in the day we didn’t have such things as Birding for Beginners books or blog post or How To Guides, so hopefully, along with my post and others, you will be an avid bird watcher in no time at all.
How to Attract Birds to your Garden
How I started, was by buying a bird feeder and pouring some bird seed onto it, sitting back on a garden chair under the shade of our verandah, with binoculars and a field guide and waiting for the flutter to start.
Now depending on the size of your garden and the climate you live-in and obviously where you live, will determine how you go about altering your garden to attract some birds.
But, before we get technical, and before you feel you may need a degree in botany and landscape architecture to understand what plants go where and how, let’s just start with the basics, shall we? Considering this is birding for beginners, I just want to get you all interested in birding and not chase you away from it.
What attractions do you need?
- Bird Feeder
Buy a birdfeeder. Or better yet, if you’re a Handy -Andy, build one. Create an illustrious one with different layers and perches, or just a simple single layer.
Hang it from a tree with lots of cover nearby (by that I mean branches of trees and bushes that birds can hide in, between bursts of feeding “out in the open”.
I like to have a variety of feeders in my garden. Some are for small seed eaters and some are for larger seed eaters. Also create a feeding platform for left over fruit, bread and meat, attracting a wider variety of birds.
You can have a look at a few other options selling on Amazon, to get an ide of the variety on offer: –
- Bird Bath
Get yourself a bird bath. Birds need to drink …and bath
Just like the bird feeders, do not place a bird bath out in the open, but rather between some bushes and trees where birds can get cover between flitters to the bath.
A bird bath can either be a: –
- Concrete bowl on a stand
- Hollowed out rock
- Water feature of any shape or size
Make sure it is cleaned and filled regularly, which will attract more birds.
Either make it yourself or have a look at a few examples below that might interest you.
- Nectar Feeder
Why not add a nectar feeder into your arsenal to attract a wider variety of birds. Nectar feeders can replace some flowering plants that can attract birds more regularly. A good CHEAP HOME-MADE version would be Just plain sugar water in a red coloured bottle.
Instead of using food coloring or dye, as this is not healthy for the birds, just cover the bottle with red tape.
If it’s too much trouble to make your own , then checkout these variety of nectar feeders: –
- Bird Friendly Landscape
Basically you need to create a habitat for birds that will fulfil all their basic needs. You already have food and water now you need shelter and nesting sites. Indigenous plants are best
The plants and trees in your garden will dependant on the size of it.
Create an exclusion zone in the corner of your garden where you can plant a few bushes and place your bird feeder and bath or even a small water feature
Create some kind of structure like a small gazebo covered in climbing plants or plant taller bushes with smaller ones in front to create different levels/layers
Larger Gardens – Speak to your local horticulturist at the nursery to get some ideas
- A wide variety of plants are best
- Different landscapes in one garden is even better – Try keeping plants that are indigenous to your location and region
- Try adding plants that flower at different times of the year
- Layer your garden, with tall trees, intermediates and small shrubs and bushes
- Dead trees (unless they are a hazard) are good to keep around
- Hollowed out logs can attract nesting birds, just place them in a cool area and keep the entrance dry
- Decaying matter in your flowerbeds will attract insects
- Owl houses are a wonderful added feature
Now go pour yourself and ice cold drink, fetch your binoculars, get your app and / or field guide and watch the wonderful world of garden birds unfold before your eyes.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.