Attracting Garden Birds

The Birder's Market | Resource | Garden Birds |  Attracting Garden Birds

How do I attract birds to my garden ?

How do I attract birds to my garden ?

Short answer is - provide food and shelter, but especially food and especially throughout the winter when natural food can be scarce. Often overlooked is the need to provide water, as even the smallest regular supply will attract birds. If you are not lucky enough to have your own garden, there are bird feeders that can be attached to a window. Try and think of your garden as a private nature reserve and vary the habitat as much as possible, providing areas for birds to feed, drink, roost and breed not overlooking the need for shelter (from predators such as sparrowhawk or domestic cats). Trees and shrubs not only provide this shelter but can also create ideal breeding areas as well as attracting insects, grubs and caterpillars (food for the spring and summer).

The key to attacting birds and other wildlife to your garden is to provide a mixed range of habitats that will provide all of the above, all year round. It is now recognised that feeding during the summer months provides an excellent supplement to natural foods that are plentiful in a successful wildlife garden.Try not to make your garden too tidy.Leaving areas for grasses, thistle and nettle will also attract many insects and caterpillars (thistle is almost certain to bring goldfinches to your garden).


One of the most common questions asked is 'How do I attract Goldfinches to the garden?' the short answer is Niger seed.Niger is a tiny oil-rich seed, which is said to have special oil releasing properties.Putting out a special niger seed feeder in your garden will attract Goldfinches and other birds such as Siskins, Redpolls and Greenfinches as if by magic !

Recommended :Chapelwood Niger Seed 1.8kg

Recommended :Chapelwood Niger Seed 1.8kg
The Secret Lives of Garden BirdsThe Secret Lives of Garden Birds

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and Shrubs

Not all gardens have the room for trees, but if you have, then try to choose species that are native, such as apple,cherry, scots pine, oak and beech. Although faster growing species such as alder and silver birch can offer shelter, food and places for nest boxes.


Shrubs can also provide shelter and food.Buddleia attracts butterflies and insects, whilst elder and hawthorn will provide berries.

Garden pond

Finally in this brief introduction, if you have room, then a garden pond is a must.Not only will this provide a regular drinking source, but also the fascility for bathing allowing birds to keep their feathers in pristine condition.Stocking your pond with a range of aquatic plants, sedges etc will not only attract birds, but also frogs, newts and dragonflies.

Chapelwood Stainless Steel Feeder

Chapelwood Stainless Steel Feeder
Olympus 10 x 21 DPC I Silver Binoculars

Olympus 10 x 21 DPC I Silver Binoculars
Recommended : Garden Birds Sounds CD
Songs of Garden Birds - The Definitive Audio Guide to British Garden Birds
This CD features top quality recordings from the Sound Archive of the typical songs and calls of the 52 bird species most commonly found in British gardens. Each species can be quickly located by the track number, and details about each species are given in the accompanying booklet. Compiled and edited by birdsong experts Ron Kettle and Richard Ranft, this is the perfect introduction to identifying those sounds you hear every day in your garden. Running time 68 minutes.

Click here for ordering details.....
Recommended : Garden Birds Sounds CD
Record-breaking half a million people take part in 30th Big Garden Birdwatch

Record-breaking half a million people take part in 30th Big Garden Birdwatch

More than 552,000 people took part in 2009’s Big Garden Birdwatch, counting over 8.5 million birds. 73 species were recorded in 279,000 gardens across the UK over the weekend of 24 and 25 January.
Flying into the top ten
And the long-tailed tit has flown into the top ten for the first time in the survey’s 30-year history. Numbers of this highly sociable species nearly doubled compared to last year.
The increase is being linked to the mild winters leading up to 2009. Small, insect eating birds like long tailed tits are particularly susceptible to the cold as the food they rely on is hard to come by in frosts and snow so milder conditions have contributed to a higher survival rate.
Over the last ten years the long-tailed tit has also adapted to feeding on seeds and peanuts at bird tables and from hanging feeders. This behaviour has spread as they’ve learnt from each other that tables and feeders offer a wide variety of food.
Whereas a few years ago most people simply put out peanuts, the increasing range of food being left out may be more suitable for birds such as long-tailed tits.
The world's biggest birdwatch
The first Big Garden Birdwatch took place 30 years ago when 30,000 children started the survey. It is now the biggest bird survey in the world.

Big Garden Birdwatch co-ordinator Sarah Kelly, said: “We’re thrilled to have well over half a million people taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. This is a great way for people to get closer to nature and enjoy the benefits of feeding their garden birds.“
Numbers of all but one of the top ten birds have increased slightly since last year. Only starling numbers have dropped although they retain the number two slot.
Sarah Kelly says: “Many species have seen a very slight increase in the last year. The significant increase in long-tailed tit sightings highlights the impact that feeding can have on some species. They have only started coming to feeders fairly recently, and more people are seeing them as this behaviour develops.”
Movers and shakers
The goldfinch dropped out of the top ten rankings after its entry for the first time last year. The goldfinch and the greenfinch slipped by a place each this year although both species have steadily increased in recent years.
The striking siskin, which made it into the top 20 for the first time in the survey’s history last year, dropped back to number 26.
Sarah Kelly, added: “Gardens can be an excellent habitat for birds and as more and more people realise the importance of feeding and gardening for wildlife we are seeing an increasing variety of birds on our tables and feeders.
“Birds like waxwing for example are a surprising find in gardens. This winter we’ve had an influx of waxwings in the UK as the particularly cold weather in Scandinavia will likely have meant a poor crop of rowan berries.
“Gardens with berry bearing shrubs and trees are much more likely to attract these colourful visitors during their brief stay in the UK and this year the waxwing has leapt to number 59 compared to number 72 last year.
“This year’s survey took place on a chilly weekend and garden birds are heavily reliant on the extra food we put out. It seems we were suitably paid back for our efforts and we need to continue – the changeable weather means they still need our help!”
Familiar favourites
Some of the UK’s most familiar species have suffered huge declines in the last three decades. The house sparrow has declined by 63% since the survey began in 1979, and the starling has dropped by 79%.
The house sparrow retained its top spot for the sixth year running with an average of 3.70 seen per garden. The starling, which is a former number one, came in at number two with an average of 3.21 per garden. The blackbird completed the top three with 2.84 per garden.

Chaffinch is one of our more familiar and colourful garden birds

The Birder's Market | Resource | Garden Birds |  Attracting Garden Birds

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