Birds and your garden

The easiest starting point to get the birds to love your garden is to put birdseed out regularly.

A feeding station for garden birds is the best way to keep birds returning.

Different birds are attracted to different things, so a variety in your offering will make all the difference to what birds you attract.

No serious bird feeding station is without Suet, Bird Seed and some fruit, but have you tried some Bird Pudding?

It has a nutty base and will help attract an even wider range of birds.

  •  Food for thought

The easiest starting point to get the birds to love your garden is to put birdseed out regularly.

Start with a smaller amount and then increase your serving.

If you overfeed birds they will just waste it so rather feed less, more frequently.

We recommend you use wild birdseed rather than garden birdseed.

Garden birdseed has mielie bits in it which tends to attract the pigeons which are not what most gardeners want to see.

The bird seed bells and tower block feeders are great for attracting smaller birds as the doves and pigeons can’t hold onto them to feed.

Suet has become very popular with our local birds and with good reason.

High in protein, suet helps to fatten the birds up to protect them against the cold nights and to maintain their energy levels.

Soft enough for baby birds too, we recommend always adding suet to your feeding station even through spring breeding season.

The nutty bird pudding will also help to fatten them up in much the same way and attracts different birds.

Nectar feeders will attract the Sunbirds and White Eyes to the garden and can also be used as a water dispenser.

Don’t forget the fruit feeding birds, which love a bit of apple or orange.

  •  Bug eating birds

Leave the fallen leaves in the garden as these will provide a micro-habitat for various insects, grubs and worms, which will in turn attract insect feeders such as Cape robin-chats, Karoo and olive thrushes as well as African hoopoes.

These birds love the dense undergrowth of gardens where they turn over leaves and debris in search of grubs.

By installing a bug box you will find some of the beneficial insects finding a home in your garden which in turn gives these birds even more insects to find in the garden.

  •  Water for birds

Every garden should have water for the birds, either in the form of a bird bath or a water feature that they can stand in.

With less rain through winter, water also becomes scarce for birds so your garden bird bath will certainly get more attention this time of the year.

Place bird baths in the quieter part of the garden, preferably near thick foliage and established trees, so that the birds can perch nearby and not feel exposed.

A water feature that has a basin that is too deep won’t help.

Add some pebbles or a large stone in the water to give the birds a spot to stand and have a bath.

A bird bath near your feeding station is a good idea as it gives them everything in one spot and keeps them coming back, much like we do at our local convenience store.

Remember to keep the bird bath topped up regularly as many birds will frequently visit to drink and bath.

The most important thing to remember is that the more varied your offering the more varied the range of birds will be that find your garden.

  •  Information supplied by Eckards
  AUTHOR
Charmaine Slater
Senior journalist (Edenvale)

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