Birds are a welcome addition to any garden. Not only are they voracious consumers of insects, but their wonderful songs add something special to the air.
However, attracting them and encouraging them to stay can be tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing. These 5 tips should help you get off on the right foot:
1. Do your homework
Before you do anything else, find out exactly which types of birds you could expect to see in your garden. There’s no point in trying to attract species that simply aren’t in your local vicinity.
Local bird watching groups are fantastic sources of information and will be able to tell you exactly which species you can try and attract.
2. Consider predators?
Do you have pet cats? Do your neighbours? If so, encouraging birds into your garden might not be the best idea. After all, you don’t want to lure birds to their potential demises.
Bells on cats’ collars are extremely effective at alerting birds of their presence. If you do have cats and still want a garden full of birds, make sure you get some.
3. Provide water & shelter
Birds love dense foliage because it makes them feel safe and secure. That’s why native grasses, shrubs and flowering gum trees are good for attracting them. They provide cover for them to forage and material for nest building.
4. Don’t provide food
Our Northern Hemisphere friends put out food to attract birds into their gardens, but it’s not a practice we should follow. For a start, bird tables and feeding stations can help diseases to spread. Then there’s the problem of your visiting birds becoming too reliant on your handouts. When you go away they could end up becoming malnourished.
5. Ditch the chemicals
Last but certainly not least, ditch the chemical pesticides and fertilisers if you want to encourage more birds to visit you. That’s because pesticide poisoning accounts for many bird deaths. Besides, with birds in your garden you shouldn’t need chemical pesticides anyway!