How to attract birds to your garden

Read about what to feed wild birds and how to adapt your garden or outdoor space to make it really bird-friendly.

Updated 25 June 2019

How to attract birds to your garden

Everyone wants to know how to attract birds to garden spaces. Whether you’re a regular gardener, a big animal lover or you just like looking at them out of the window, attracting birds to a garden is a lovely way to make new feathered friends. Here we explain everything you need to know including what to feed garden birds and other things that can help with to attracting birds to your garden.

Birds eat different things depending on the season, so be sure to match your food offering to the time of year.

Creating a bird-friendly garden

These simple actions are great for attracting birds to your garden and encouraging them to stay:

  1. Plant berries and sweet fruits to give them something to feed on. Make sure you go for a range of plants so that they give fruit all year round, making sure you’ll still be feeding birds in winter. A few good options include blackberries, mulberries and cherries.
  2. Leave them a dead tree. As counterintuitive as it sounds, birds really enjoy sitting on top of old tree branches left on the ground. So if some fall over in your garden, don’t rush to pick them up.
  3. Provide a source of drinking water. Like humans, birds need liquids to keep them healthy and happy, so if you want more feathered friends to come to your garden try making sure there is some available. Placing bird baths on high pedestals will help birds to reach them.

What to feed wild birds

There are lots of different options of what to feed wild garden birds. Here are a few different things you could try:

  • Black sunflower seeds
  • Grated cheese
  • Pinhead oatmeal
  • Worms
  • Sultanas, currants or raisins pre-soaked in water
  • Pre-made commercial mixes of bird feed
  • Soft fruits (e.g. over-ripe apples, pears, bananas and grapes) cut into small pieces

What to feed birds in winter

So you know what birds like in general, but have you ever thought about what to feed wild birds in winter? Here are a few pointers to remember for when the weather turns colder:

  • Regularly feeding birds in winter could be life-saving for your new friends, because it’s harder for birds to find nutrients elsewhere during this season.
  • Opt for high-energy foods to help birds maintain their fat reserves. This includes fat balls which you can buy in garden centres and worm/berry butter.
  • Be sure to stick to a routine when you put out the food as birds will remember and come back at the same time accordingly.

Those are the key things you need to know about creating a bird-friendly outdoor space. Remember our key tips and soon you’ll have all sorts of birds visiting your garden.

Key steps

To attract birds to your garden follow these key steps:

  1. Provide some fresh water for drinking
  2. Put out nutritional food, depending on the season
  3. Get into a routine and provide food at the same times so birds know when to come.
Originally published 10 May 2019