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And whether you’re taking part in this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch, or just love to fill your garden with feathered friends, here are some helpful tips…

8 ways to make your garden more bird-friendly

Different coloured sunflowers

Brightly coloured sunflowers provide a nutrient-rich food source for birds
Image: Sunflower ‘Beaches Mix’ seeds from T&M (©Rob Smith’s Allotment)

There are lots of ways to create a bird-friendly garden that’s teeming with wildlife. For quick results, put out some high quality bird food and see who drops in. But if you’re looking for long-term gain, concentrate on improving your garden design, changing your planting scheme and sowing the flower seeds that birds love. Here are some ideas to help bring birds to your garden.

  • Add a wide range of bird feeders: Try a variety of hanging feeders, bird tables and ground feeders and keep them topped up all year round with seeds, fat balls, peanuts and mealworms. Find expert tips on the best place to position bird feeders here.
  • Hang nest boxes: Make sure you put them in a sheltered spot away from full sun, strong wind and driving rain. Here are some top tips for putting up a nest box.
  • Supply clean water: A well-maintained bird bath is a welcome treat in the summer and vital in the winter when other water sources are frozen. Find everything you need to know about bird baths here.
  • Don’t use pesticides: Switch to organic pest control so birds don’t accidentally end up as collateral damage. Read our full article on pest control methods for a thorough examination of all the options.
  • Choose bird-friendly plants and flowers: Whether it’s a place to shelter or a natural food source, your planting scheme plays a huge part in making birds feel safe and welcome in your garden. Here are five of the best plants and flowers to attract birds.
  • Plant hedges: Small birds especially love the security of a leafy hedge, and all birds enjoy feasting on the insects, fruit and berries that they find there. Read our hedges for wildlife article for more information.
  • Create a quiet corner: Section off a small area and keep it free of noisy children and pets to allow birds to feed, roost and nest in peace.
  • Boost the insect population: Build insect hotels, leave undisturbed areas of longer grass and even dig a small pond. Improving the overall eco-diversity in your garden will tempt birds to visit regularly and even make nests. Read our tips on creating wildlife habitats for more ideas.

If you love to wake up to a dawn chorus that continues all day long, providing food and water and shelter is the best way to fill your garden with birds. For a wealth of information and advice on wildlife gardening, visit our dedicated hub page.

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