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Creating a Garden Sanctuary for Birds

submitted on 30 June 2023 by homeandgardenlistings.co.uk
You there, nature lover! Have you ever gazed at your garden and thought, "My goodness, this place could really use more birds?" Well, look no further, for I have a foolproof plan to turn your garden into a veritable ornithological paradise. With a little thought, planning, and possibly some bribery, your garden will be the envy of all your bird-loving friends.

Step 1: Offer Food Fit for Feathered Friends

Before you can create a haven for our avian friends, you must first convince them that your garden is a worthy place for them to visit. And what better way to do this than by offering them a veritable smorgasbord of delectable treats? Here are a few options to entice even the most discerning bird:
  • Seed feeders: Offer a variety of seeds, such as sunflower, safflower, and nyjer seeds, in an array of feeders. Different types of feeders attract different birds, so mix it up with tube, platform, and hopper feeders.
  • Suet feeders: These fatty treats are perfect for woodpeckers, nuthatches, and other insect-eating birds. Be sure to use a suet feeder with a tail prop to accommodate the larger woodpeckers that may grace your garden.
  • Nectar feeders: Fill these with sugar water (four parts water to one part sugar) to entice hummingbirds and orioles. Opt for a red feeder to catch their attention from afar.
  • Fruit and jelly: Orioles, grosbeaks, and waxwings love sweet treats. Offer them oranges, apples, and a dish of grape jelly to woo them to your garden.
And for the pièce de résistance, consider offering live mealworms (yes, I mean living, wriggling wormy morsels). You'll soon be the talk of the bird community, and they'll be flocking to your garden in droves.

Step 2: Provide Luxurious Lodging

Now that you've piqued the interest of the local bird populace, it's time to provide them with suitable accommodations in the form of nesting boxes, also known as birdhouses. But before you go installing a row of identical, lackluster boxes, consider the preferences of your avian clientele:
  • Size matters: Different birds require different sized houses with corresponding entrance hole sizes. Make sure you're catering to the local species by varying the dimensions of your nesting boxes.
  • Location, location, location: Your new bird tenants will be quite particular about the placement of their new abode. Some prefer cozy tree nooks, while others like the openness of a post-mounted house. Do your research, and install accordingly.
  • Material considerations: While wood is a classic choice for birdhouses, consider offering houses made of PVC (which will never rot) or even repurposing interesting materials like gourds or teapots.
Remember, birds have a keen sense of style too, so consider painting or decorating your birdhouses to make them truly unique. And let's not forget the birds who prefer to nest in cavities within trees - leave a few dead or dying trees standing to provide natural nesting options for cavity-nesters.

Step 3: Offer Some High-End Amenities

Any respectable bird sanctuary must offer its guests a place to bathe and drink. A bird bath is not only functional but can also be a beautiful focal point in your garden. Here are a few tips to ensure your bird bath is the premier watering hole in town:
  • Depth: Birds prefer shallow water, so opt for a bath that is no deeper than three inches in the center.
  • Texture: Birds need traction! A slick-bottomed bird bath is a no-no; instead, choose one with a textured surface to help them keep their grip.
  • Moving water: Birds are more attracted to moving water, so consider adding a dripper, mister, or even a small fountain to your bird bath setup.
And let's not forget the often-overlooked bird amenity: the humble perch. Strategically place a few branches or even shepherd's hooks near feeders and bird baths to give your feathered friends a place to rest and preen.

Step 4: Create a Bird-Friendly Landscape

Lastly, consider the overall landscape of your garden. Birds are more likely to frequent a garden that offers them a variety of plants, trees, and shrubs to forage and take cover in. Opt for native plants that provide food in the form of seeds, fruits, and nectar, as well as nesting materials and sites.Layer your plantings, with tall trees, medium-sized shrubs, and low-growing plants to provide a diverse landscape for birds to explore. And don't forget to leave some open spaces for ground-feeding birds like sparrows and doves.Now, with these steps complete, you can sit back and enjoy the bustling bird metropolis that is your garden. Revel in the cacophony of bird song, the flutter of wings, and the hubbub of avian activity. And when your bird-loving friends come to visit, try not to gloat too much about your unparalleled garden sanctuary.


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