How to make your garden bird-friendly

Robin at a bird feeder (image from the RSPB)
Birdwatching is a brilliant learning activity to do at home that can also encourage your child to take an interest in the outdoors. We speak to the RSPB about how you can make your garden or balcony more appealing for birds, leading to better birdwatching!

Mark Boyd, Youth Manager at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has these tips for encouraging birds to stop outside your home, whether you have a plant-filled garden or a few pots on the balcony:

  1. Place varying types of bird feeders with different food around the garden to attract as many different bird species as you can.
  2. Make sure your feeding station is easily visible from your favourite window so that you can fully enjoy watching the birds.
  3. Attach stickers to the outside of your window to reduce the chance of birds flying into them.
  4. Choose and grow native varieties of plants in your garden, because they tend to be better for insects (which are another form of bird food!).
  5. Don’t be in a rush to tidy up the garden after your plants have stopped flowering. Seed heads are valuable sources of food in themselves, and good refuges for mini-beasts.
  6. Always make sure clean, fresh water is available at ground level for birds and visiting mammals to drink and bathe in.
  7. Put up a range of nestboxes so you don’t have all one type. Birds are territorial and won’t tolerate others of the same species nesting too close.
  8. Make your own bee houses and bug hotels to keep your garden insect-friendly, which helps to support the food chain!


Some of the birds you may spot in your garden include:

Blackbirds

Blue tits

Chaffinches

Collared doves

Dunnocks

Greenfinches

House sparrows

Robins

Song thrushes

Starlings

The RSPB suggests lots more ways to encourage more wildlife to visit your garden.

Are you involved in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch event? Students all over the country are counting the birds in their school grounds, and submitting the results to RSPB.