Birds chirping in your garden or hopping about branches are a treat to watch. They add pleasure to the hobby and keep your garden free from insects and pests. However, with urban settlements expanding in all directions, the entire landscape of our metropolitan areas is becoming less favorable for wild birds – forcing them to migrate. Fortunately, gardeners still have something that can attract these wild visitors back – nectar and pollens.
Birds visit gardens for their basic needs: food, shelter and water. By fulfilling these basic needs, you can attract birds to your gardens easily but it is not going to happen tomorrow. It would take some time for birds to recognize your garden as a safe haven. Getting started is easy – all you have to do is select appropriate plants and safe environment for birds. The following is a list of things you can do to attract birds to your gardens.
- Select appropriate plants that provide wild visitors plenty of nectar and pollens. Visits of birds depend on the type of flowers and plants growing in your gardens. You can introduce good variety of plants to attract birds to your gardens year around.
- Maintain a clean lawn for larger birds to hop about and feed on worms.
- Plant trees that bear fruits and seeds; they attract many birds who visit these trees to find their food.
- Grow trees and bushes. They offer good nesting sites for birds where they can stay protected from pets and predatory birds.
- If you have a bigger lawn, add some dense corners where birds can protect themselves from predators as well as strong winds and rainstorms. Different parts of garden attract different types of birds. For instance larger birds prefer open spaces whereas smaller birds stay near bushes and shrubs.
- Provide water. For bigger gardens, provide running water. It attracts more birds. If you do not have enough space for running water or you live in a dry climate, offer small drinking and bathing places for birds. Drinking locations should be safe from pets; preferably at a higher spot near trees and bushes in your garden. Keep drinking water clean and free from ice. Add some rocks to water reservoirs to allow birds to perch upon.
- Add some nest boxes in quiet corners of your gardens to allow birds to stay and breed. Make sure that nest boxes are ventilated and off-ground, and are protected from pets and rain and strong winds.
- Add bird feeders in your gardens to provide some extra food especially in ‘off-season’ when natural food is not sufficient. Keep bird feeders away from squirrels.
- Go organic. Try to avoid spraying your plants or using inorganic fertilizers. Birds detest chemicals.
Finally, understand that birds would visit your garden only occasionally at first. Most of them would come from nearby areas. When they are convinced that you garden provides them safe haven and good source of food, they would visit frequently and start making their nests.