Making your garden inviting to birds


  • Animals
  • Friday, 19 Jun 2020

You can turn your back garden into the Nature Channel by inviting all kinds of birds, if you've set up a few things like a bird bath and some plants they like. Photo: Andrea Warnecke/dpa

You can make your garden or balcony into a paradise for birds by creating a space for them to breed, while giving them enough water to drink and something tasty to eat. But experts say you’ll need to bear a few things in mind before you get started.

First, make sure the water you provide is on an area that is slightly raised, according to conservationists from Germany’s Nabu, a nature and biodiversity organisation.

This will help birds feel safe from cats or other animals while they are drinking. Birds also like bathing, so ideally there’ll be enough space for them to splash around. Do change the water regularly so it’s clean, though, as bacteria-laced water won’t be doing them any favours.

A second tip is that birds love to snack on fruit and seeds, meaning any plant with berries is likely to attract your feathered friends. Try seed-bearing perennials such pyracantha and meadowsweet.

Trees, too, provide food for birds, so consider a hawthorn, rowanberry, cherry or pear tree – whatever grows in the area where you live.

Thirdly, beetles, larvae, flies and other creepy crawlies go down a treat with birds so try and avoid using pesticides in the garden and let the birds do that work for you.

Lastly, thorny bushes and spiky hedges protect birds from predators. If birds are going to lay eggs, they need to feel safe, and often pick evergreen shrubs or hollow trees. Put out a nesting box, however, and they might well settle there instead. – dpa

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