Our gardens have become one of the most important habitats for many of the so-called “garden bird” species, partly because of the changes in agricultural and woodland practices but many of us have also planted shrubs and trees or constructed ponds to attract wildlife into them.
One of the easiest ways to attract birds into the garden is to put out food and water, and you don’t even need a garden to be able to do this.
Why attract birds into your garden?
- Pest Control: Many birds eat a variety of insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, spiders and other bugs that may not be welcome in your garden. Attracting birds encourages them to take advantage of this natural food source, eliminating the need for harsh chemical insecticides.
- Weed Control: Finches and sparrows consume great quantities of weed seeds, making them effective landscapers to help control unwanted plants. Planting seed-bearing flowers for birds can also give them a natural food source to enjoy without needing frequent feeder refills.
- Wildlife Conservation: As more habitats become threatened through development, attracting birds provides a critical oasis for bird and wildlife conservation, both for local species and migrating birds. This helps preserve birds both in the garden and in the larger local environment.
- Stress Relief: Watching birds, interacting with them, listening to their songs and taking the time to work outdoors improving their habitat can help relieve stress and promote well-being. Time outdoors can also ensure that you have an adequate supply of vitamin D and detoxify the body through fresh air.
- At this time of year, put out food and water on a regular basis.
- In severe weather, feed twice daily if you can: in the morning and in the early afternoon.
- Birds require high energy (high fat) foods during the cold winter weather to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights. Use only good quality food and scraps.
- Always adjust the quantity given to the demand, and never allow uneaten foods to accumulate around the feeders. Once you establish a feeding routine, try not to change it as the birds will become used to it and time their visits to your garden accordingly.
An easy to make bird feeder