Encouraging birds to feed in your garden can be an aid pest control as they will seek out and eat various insects and moluscs that could otherwise damage plant life.
However! ensure that you manage your garden in the most environmentally way possible.
For example; be as organic as you can, avoid the use of insecticides and other chemicals.
The secret to attracting the birds into your garden is to supply many forms of feeding facilities.
Laying out various bird feeds on bird tables/baths and purpose made feeders suspended from trees and fences is one useful way.
These can be filled with commercial seed mixes* available from specialist shops and garden centres.
* Some are designed to attract specific bird types.
Typical Bird Feeder
If this is deemed too expensive there are a number of home made alternatives that can be used!
- Finely chopped bacon rind is appreciated by many small birds as is grated cheese, grain, sunflower seed and nuts.
- Blocks of fat can be purchased to either be suspended on cords or to fit into feeders.
You can make your own fat blocks by melting suet and pouring into moulds such as coconut shells or logs with holes drilled into them.
Adding commercial seed to the mix can put variety into the feeding process.
- Fruit such as apples and raisins can be a useful addition to the menu.
- Growing plants that hold onto their fruit/berries/seed during the winter months is another food source for birds.
Forming habitats that benefit certain types of birds can turn your garden into a small scale bird-friendly nature reserve.
Form wild areas such as a wild flower meadow to attract other wildlife (insects) into the food chain.
Do not over tidy the garden at the end of the growing season, leave the seed heads on some plants as a source of winter food.
You can also consider fixing a few different types of nesting box around the garden.
If these are subsequently used by the birds then the young birds will treat your garden as their home from the outset.
The secret is to get the birds into the habit of feeding in your garden all the year round and they will help you in return!
Bird Box in Tree