Attracting birds to your garden can be a most rewarding activity, providing countless opportunities to enjoy bird watching in your own back yard. There is no need for a bird cage to gain pleasure from viewing and listening to these beautiful winged creatures.
There are three basic requirements for attracting birds to your garden, namely: Food, water and shelter.
Food for garden birds can be provided in two complimentary ways. First, is by the use of a bird feeder or a bird table. Consider the species you would like to attract to your garden and provide feed accordingly. A variety of bird feeders spread throughout the garden will encourage a wider variety of birds to visit. Consider a bird table for ground feeding birds; a hanging feeder for perching birds and a suet feeder for insect eating birds. Pet shops, garden centers and even some supermarkets will sell a range of bird feeders as well as a variety of foods suitable for different types of birds. Consult a good bird guide to get an idea as to what certain birds will be interested in i.e. are they seed eaters, insect eaters, nectar eaters etc. Secondly, consider planting a bird-friendly garden. Visit your local garden centre and look for indigenous plants that will produce berries, nuts, seeds and other food all year round. Such plants will meet the needs of local garden birds. Indigenous plants will also attract insects on which insect-eating birds can feed. Avoid the use of insecticides as these may end up poisoning the very birds you have invited to your garden.
Next to consider is water. Birds will thoroughly enjoy splashing around in a water feature. A bird bath will be just as much appreciated. When purchasing a bird bath, ensure that the surface is rough so that the birds will have something to grip onto. Remember to keep the bird bath or water feature clean so that the bird’s health will not be adversely affected.
Shelter can be provided in the form of a bird house (nesting box) or by planting indigenous trees and shrubbery. Pet shops and garden centers should be able to provide you with a suitable bird house for the different species.
By meeting these three basic requirements, you can enjoy bird watching from the comfort of your home.