Our gardens have become a vital environment for the wellbeing and survival of many of our wild bird species. With the gradual decrease in wild birds’ natural habitats, including the decline in native woodland and changing agricultural practices, many wild bird species have adapted to living within a closer proximity to our gardens.
There are a few considerations when looking to attract wild birds into your garden. There is no single trick to adopt but rather several strategies that are simple to implement.
Try and ascertain what type of wild birds you currently see in your garden or in the surrounding area. Different birds may have different food preferences and it is important to cater to the variety of birds that you see and the diversity that you hope to attract.
A wildlife-friendly garden is a great starting point. This is not so different from how many of our gardens look. Shrubs and climbers provide excellent cover for wild birds and your feeders should always be approximately two metres away from this. An open lawn area can be very attractive and beneficial for ground feeding birds. Bee and insect friendly plants are a fantastic addition to any outside space and it’s worth considering shrubs and bushes that grow berries – an ideal natural food for all birds.
Remember to be patient. Birds are creatures of habit and it can take them a little time to adapt to a new feeder. And as creatures of habit, they will come to rely upon you feeding them so it’s crucial to carry on all-year-round and to explore seasonal food variations. For example, food high in fat for extra energy in the winter, and a calcium boost in the run up to spring to help in egg development.
Fresh water is vital, both for drinking and cleaning. Sustaining a responsible level of cleanliness and hygiene with the foods and feeders is essential as it can prevent cross-infection between garden birds.
If you are interested in introducing wild birds into your outside space, a great starting point would be reviewing the Henry Bell Wild Bird Care range. The Henry Bell Wild Bird Food collection offers a very diverse, quality collection of premium bird feeds – from the much-loved peanuts and mealworms to specific blends to attract different birds including the acclaimed Superior Seed Blend. All the packaging is clearly labelled to show which birds the food attracts, and colour-coded so that you can easily ascertain which is the best feeder solution for each food.
Additionally, Henry Bell’s Wild Bird Care range includes feeding stations for a simple one-stop garden solution, as well as beautiful, practical nest boxes and decorative feeders if you want to make a vibrant visual statement. The Henry Bell Wild Bird range can be found at leading garden centres and independent pet shops across the country.
Feeding wild birds is a rewarding and highly fulfilling habit to adopt. The beauty, energy and vitality of our feathered garden friends is a sustained source of entertainment and pleasure. Additionally, there is increasing documentation that we benefit both mentally and physically when we look after garden birds.
By Tony Clare, commercial director of Henry Bell Wild Bird Care