Turn Your Garden Into A Wild Bird Paradise In 2016

Would you like your garden to become a paradise for wild birds? This is the ideal time to start preparing and planning for the spring planting and summertime blooms which will attract wild birds all year round.

What Should I Plant and Grow This Year?
Having certain plants and trees in your garden can attract wild birds. This includes hedgerows and dense foliage in which they can nest and perch, as well as plants that they will feed off. Birch, hawthorn and ash trees can all provide shelter and cover, while berry-rich trees will provide food for part of the year (until they are depleted).

Do Nesting Boxes Work?
Many wild birds will prefer to build their own nests but some can be persuaded to use nesting boxes, especially tits. Be prepared to move them around the garden to see what effect this has. You might be surprised to find that even a subtle change in location successfully encourages birds to use them.

If you’re trying to encourage birds to use nesting boxes that are already in the garden, now is a good time to make sure that they are in the right type of condition to be accessed. This includes removing any old nests and cleaning them in boiling water to kill parasites. This should be done every year to keep nesting boxes clean and tidy.

What Food Should I Leave Out To Attract Wild Birds?
Tempting treats will also go a long way towards attracting wild birds to your garden and can convince them to make regular visits. In a nutshell, bird feeders containing seeds and nuts, and fat balls are popular with wild birds, especially when the weather is cooler. Many wild birds will also eat bread but be aware that this offers no real nutritional benefit for them.

You can also choose to supplement this with natural food sources such as insects and mealworms to further encourage wild birds to spend time in your garden and to help them to feed their young.

If you are going to encourage wild birds to feed in your garden, it is important to make sure that bird feeders and tables are kept clean to avoid spreading disease. Sterilising them on a regular basis is recommended, especially if you have encouraged a good number of birds into the garden or you suspect that a particular bird in your garden is sick.

Have you successfully encouraged wild birds to come to your garden? Do you have any other tips to share? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

Photo credit [John Purvis]