Attract Garden Birds!
Adrian Thomas' guide to attracting garden birds!
Plant a tree Trees can be expensive, so at this time of year go for bare root. Cheap and easy to plant – it's possible to grow in big pots too – you can create bird-friendly corners with crab apples, silver birch, hazel, buckthorn, euonymus or spindle 'Red Cascade' and ornamental sorbus, which are home to berries, seeds and insects for the birds to eat.
Serve a banquet Ensure you offer lots of different food in one place, either through feeders or blocks of flowers such as rudbeckia, sunflower or teasel. These plants will not only house tasty insects for the birds to eat, but also nutritious seed heads in autumn.
Make birds feel secure Make sure your feeders are high up. While we might think our feeders are miles off the ground, from a bird's eye view they're very low down. In fact, our gardens can often appear like steep-sided pits with the birds having to come down into the 'danger zone' of humans, cats and other predators to feed.
Keep feeders clean Don't underestimate the importance of hygiene. Research shows that disease can be spread from bird table to bird table. Try to clean the table every couple of weeks, sloshing with hot water and spraying on a weak bleach solution before rinsing with cold water.
Provide a bird box If you don't have any trees you can still put up a bird box on the side of a house. November is a great time to do this, as the birds will be checking out roosting sites now, ready to set up home in March. Always make sure the box faces north or east, as a south-facing box will get too hot in the summer.