With natural habitats declining, our gardens are now more important than ever for UK wild birds. So it's good that around 87% of UK households have a garden space. We share some advice below on how to attract birds to your garden so you can help your local garden birds become regulars at your feeders.
But you don't need to have a big garden, or any garden, to attract birds. All you need is good food, a feeder and a little bit of patience!
One of the most common and, without a doubt, one of the easiest ways of encouraging wild birds to come to your garden is by feeding them. A balanced blend of seeds, grains, nuts and fruits will keep your birds healthy and keep them coming back, while a selection of husked / non-husked and kibbled versions of these will attract birds big and small.
It is important to note that while this may initially attract birds to your garden, it is vital that you keep refilling your feeder and make sure to keep it clean so that birds can feed freely and safely. Refill your feeder when it gets low, or clean out any uneaten food and wash your feeder at the end of each week - whatever happens to come first! If you're keen to attract a specific bird type to your garden, you could try using our straight seeds. Niger seed is a favourite of finches, and black sunflower seeds are excellent for catering for soft-billed songsters like the blackbird.
If you are new to feeding birds, our bird feeding for beginners guide will tell you everything you need to know to start feeding birds.
You can easily attract more birds just by putting your feeder in the correct place. You should choose an outside area that is out of direct sunlight and isn't windy, so your feeder stays relatively still and the food within it doesn't heat up too much. While keeping this in mind, you should also place your feeder in an area where birds can have a 360 view while they feed so that they can keep an eye out for predators. If birds can fly in, fill up and fly off again with no trouble, they will be keen to return to their newfound favourite feeding spot!
If you have successfully completed our first two points, you will know that a well-placed feeder with great food can get pretty busy! Too much competition at a feeder may seem like a good sign, but it can be off-putting for smaller birds if their beaks are being regularly butted out by larger birds. To keep everyone happy and ensure you have a good variety of visitors, it is a good idea to offer either more than one feeding spot or multiple feeders. A hanging feeder or feeder table offers two different feeding solutions in different spots, whilst a feeding station can host multiple feeders at one time.
Birds will be attracted to your garden or outside area for food, but they may stick around if they have access to fresh water. This can be for drinking or bathing in. A water feeder that is refilled daily with fresh water is great for thirsty birds, whilst a bird bath can help them preen their feathers and look their very best, which they may need after all that feasting!
Imagine if your favourite restaurant was just right around the corner from your house! To attract birds and keep them in your company for longer, consider providing a home for them. Not only will this provide you with plenty of entertainment, but it also makes way for the next generation of birds so we can continue to enjoy their existence.
Whether you are using a feeder, water feeder, bird bath, bird house or all of these to attract birds - an important thing to remember is that you keep them all clean. This will encourage birds to keep coming to you and keep them healthy and safe for years to come.
Birds are superb nest builders and are masters of survival. So, if you offer them a safe and secure nesting spot, they will quickly claim it. It won’t take long before wild birds move in and call your garden home if you have placed nesting boxes in suitable locations, if there is tasty food on offer, and if your garden offers a welcoming environment where they feel safe.
If you're uncertain about choosing between a bird feeder or bird table we have written a guide about each of their benefits and help you to understand which one is best suited for you.
According to the 2021 RSPB national garden survey, 38 million birds have been lost from UK skies in the last 50 years. Food availability is just one of the factors impacting the decline, but by creating a welcoming and safe feeding environment you can help make a difference.