Where would we be without our garden birds? They provide amusement, colour, music, tragedy and sorrow all on your doorstep.
Birds that come into the garden can be helped by providing:
1) Food - Best is usually what nature provides in the form of berries from growing trees and bushes. When these are spars during the winter months it will help to give them bought nuts and seeds.
If they get good nutrition during the winter they are in a better condition to fight off the elements and for breeding the next generation.
2) Water - leaving out many shallow containers to collect rainwater for them to drink or have a bath in. Also a bird bath may help but they may choose their own spot which could be a large deeper plant pot saucer or a muddy puddle.
3) Shelter - giving them somewhere to roost or make nests for their young in bird boxes, trees and/or shrubs.
Adjacent gardens can have totally different birds visiting depending on the plants that are grown in each one.
In my last two houses I have been near woodland so usually have larger birds.
There are those that live in the UK all of the year and then there are those that come across to the UK in the winter to flee the colder weather or those that come in summer to have their young.
Birds will pick and choose where they prefer to stay and visit. A brand new garden will not entice many birds in unless there is a good supply of food from a bird table or plenty of bugs in the soil.
Starting at the basics with a good soil structure that has lots of micro organisms living in it will benefit anything that is grown in it such as trees, shrubs and flowers and those feeding from it like insects, bees and birds.
Birds like to feel safe and not too vulnerable when making their nests. A single tree that can be scaled by the local felines just will not be suitable. Their preference would be a prickly hedge where they can get deep inside where any mammals or other larger birds would have difficulty in reaching them.
Plants can be placed in groups of three a bit like a triangle so they can grow and produce a dense inner sanctuary, prickles or not.
Food is another major issue so plant trees and a variety of shrubs that have different berries for them to eat when the seasons change.
Trees, shrubs and hedges will all provide shelter from predators in the form of large birds or domestic cats. Many birds will nest happily beside other birds in a hedge.
It is good to plant trees that are suitable for your garden size, for your enjoyment and practical for birds and wildlife.
Ideally it would be one that has blossom in the Spring for the bees, shade to sit underneath for the person and fruit of some sort like berries, apples, cherries etc for both the people and the birds.
Holly Tree or Shrub
Mountain Ash or Rowan Tree
The above list is just a few trees and shrubs that will attract birds into the garden along with the other elements mentioned previously.
I have a few apple trees and take what I need to use or to freeze for use in the winter and then leave the rest around the garden so insects, birds and possibly small animals can then eat.
Some birds will remain in the UK all the time and in all seasons. These are our resident birds like the Robin, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Magpie and Sparrow to name a few.
There are also the birds that spend part of the year in the UK and then overwinter elsewhere and these are the migrating birds such as Swallows, House Martin and Cuckoo to name some.
One year many years ago Europe was having a really bad winter and a lot of their starlings came to the UK. Starlings in the UK stay all year but these swelled their numbers.
I was living in an area that were treated to wonderful murmurations in the evenings. The only downside was having to wash the cars daily and hoping nothing landed on you when walking home until they roosted.
Enjoy watching your garden birds