Are you ever lucky enough to be able to sit at your back door and watch the birds fly around. Sometimes even being able to see them very close by as they peck around for the odd biscuit crumb at your feet? It’s like something out of Beatrix Potter isn’t it?
It’s a lovely thing to enjoy. I used to be able to enjoy this, but since having our cat, it’s rather put a damper on things as I’m sure you can imagine. It’s not that the birds have gone, it’s just that understandably they now steer well clear of our back door!
We’re fortunate in our back garden to have two very thick privet hedges which are also very tall. While this means that they’re a nightmare to look after, it makes them a safe haven for birds to nest. So we still have plenty of birds in the garden, they just stay well out of reach of our furry pal.
We thought quite a bit about how to attract birds into the garden and the great thing we discovered is that it really doesn’t take too much time or effort and needn’t cost too much either. We were a bit apprehensive about what our new family pet would do to our bird population, but so far it’s been relatively successful in keeping them coming back, even with the cat. We ‘may’ have lost a couple of fledglings, but I’m trying to make amends to the remaining population as best I can.
I declined not to tell the littlies about that particular incident and preferred to focus my energies on getting the children to help out. Littlest son really enjoys filling the feeder, although I do have to keep reminding him that it’s food for birds, not food for him.
After doing a bit of research online, these are the things we found that have been most helpful in attracting birds to the garden and easiest to achieve:
Make the most of any height you may have for birds to perch and feed. Even if it’s attaching feeders to fence panels. Shade is important too, so ideally try to situate bird feeders and perching sites near natural shade. This can be a large shrub if you don’t have any trees. Birds especially like hawthorn and privet as they can both nest and feed in them. There’s such a wide range of feeders to choose from and they range in price a lot so there’s sure to be something to suit most budgets.
If it’s possible to have your feeder in a place safe from cats, it’s a good idea. However, if you have a cat like mine that can be tricky to say the least! Squirrels are also a pain, not because they will harm the birds but because they’ll eat all the food. Ours is in the best place I could think of-there’s enough visibility (I hope) and potential shelter for them to flee in an emergency.
Birds love worms, bugs and insects so the really good news is that leaving a part of the garden to grow wild and natural is just perfect for them. I really like the idea of keeping part of the garden wild, so much easier to maintain!
Don’t forget that birds need to drink and wash just like us, so a bird bath that’s near shelter and kept clean and ice free will attract them back again and again. To be honest, we don’t have a bird bath anymore. Not because I don’t want one, it’s just that all the possible spots were too near places that our cat and all the other local felines like to prowl and I’m too apprehensive about encouraging the birds into a potential killing zone (after the fledgling experience.)
And again, just like us human beings, birds like a good feed. There are all kinds of bird food available that include nuts, seeds, fats and fruit as well as specific wild bird food. The type of bird food you choose will dictate what type of birds will come to your garden too.
This is a sponsored post but as ever all the views and opinions expressed are completely my own.
The bird feeder images (not in the garden) kindly supplied by www.gardenhealth.com