Last week our blog focused on how we can help feed the birds in our gardens without it costing a fortune. This week in light of the impending RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 (https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/) due to take place from Saturday 26th January to Monday 28th January, we thought we would focus on how you can encourage more birds into your garden.
Birds play a vital role in our ecosystem for many reasons including:
1. Pollinating – birds are natural pollinators as they move pollen from one plant to another which helps fertilization.
2. Pest control – birds help control pests in gardens and other places. They eat literally tons of insects especially during the spring when they are feeding their chicks as insects offer a tasty high protein meal for growing chicks.
3. Dispersing seeds – fruit eating birds help to move seeds around. Once they have eaten the fruit, the seeds are carried in their intestines and then excreted into new deposits.
As well as being important for our environment, birds are wonderful to watch and listen to. From nesting to breeding, to migrations and feeding, there’s always something different to look out for. And if you can encourage more birds into your garden, you can watch all of the activities from your own armchair with your shutters thrown back.
So, what can you do to bring more birds into your garden? Here’s a few top tips to help you increase your population of feathered visitors.
Contrary to popular belief, birds should be fed all year round and not just throughout the winter. Feeding throughout they year will not detract them from digesting the insects in your garden and will in fact encourage other wildlife in. If you’re a bit overwhelmed with choosing what food to buy, try and work out which birds are visiting your garden already and match the food accordingly. And don’t forget, you can also create your own wonderful culinary delights: https://www.www.purelyshutters.co.uk/blog/garden/tips-for-making-your-own-bird-food/
As well as food, birds also need water. During cold and frosty spells make sure any water you put out has not iced over and it’s clean and fresh rather than moldy and stale. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a stone bird bath, a turned-up dustbin lid or old plastic bowl set at an angle will do the trick just as well. Add some flat stones in to help the birds have an easy route in and out.
Birds don’t like to be exposed in the open so make sure your garden offers lots of hiding places whilst they wait in turn to feed or check out your new feeders. Bushes, shrubs and trees will all offer great shelter. Of course, there are also a multitude of plants that birds will feed on so why not double up and give them a place to roost as well as some great fodder!
The winter months are the perfect time to put up nesting boxes as your birds will check them out in readiness for breeding in the spring. If you already have nesting boxes, make sure you remove any old nests and give them a thorough clean, ready for a new family to move in!
You can find out more by reading this article from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/30/attracting-birds-to-gardens