Birdwatching in your garden can be an extremely relaxing and wonderful experience. Once you have created a haven for birds in your garden you can sit back and watch them flourish. Bird feeding is very popular in Britain, over half of adults in the UK feed birds in their garden.
The arrival of birds can completely transform your garden, turning it into a haven for all sorts of stunning and brightly coloured birds. Observing and feeding birds in your garden can be extremely rewarding, especially if you are able to see birds flourish and help towards the conservation of these wonderful creatures.
You don’t need a big budget to start viewing birds in your garden. All you need to do is provide food and water and set aside some time to sit and watch them. Top bird food includes sunflower hearts, Bird Peanuts, Niger seed and bird mixtures. Watching birds in your back garden is one of the cheapest hobbies you can find.
Leaving food for birds in your garden can help them to survive difficult periods where there is a lack of food or particularly severe weather. You can feed birds in your garden all year round, although there may be certain times of the year where they don’t need as much help.
Don’t expect birds to come flocking to your garden as soon as you start to put food out. You might not be able to watch them from a window at first as they may get startled and fly off. Gradually, as they get used to your presence you should be able to get a closer look.
If you want to observe birds in your garden then you have something that will appeal to them. It’s not particularly difficult to attract birds to your garden, the main thing you need is bird food and a feeding post. Providing nesting boxes and fresh water will also help to bring a wide range of birds to your backyard.
Birds like to preen and wash their feathers in birds baths and also have the occasional drink. Water features and ponds can also help to attract the interest of birds and are a lovely addition to your garden. If you are on a budget you can just supply food, but water will bring more birds and keep them happier so they are more likely to return to your garden.
Birds also like to feed, take shelter and nest in trees. If you don’t have many trees or bushes in your garden you may want to plant some that will be appealing to birds. Trees that grow fruit and attract insects will be most appealing.
Place your bird feeder in a spot that is close enough to shelter, as birds may need to take cover from predators. Try and also put it in an area that is well lit so that you can see the birds properly. If possible, place feeding posts at different levels to try and attract different types of bird.
Once you have done this all you have to do is sit back and watch. Some common British garden birds you might see include the House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Robin, Starling, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Great Tit. If you want to be able to recognise the different birds that you see in your garden you may want to buy a book that has details of all the different birds. Every time you see one you don’t know look it up to try and identify it. Make a note of how many different birds you see for future reference.
The type of birds you will see in your garden will depend on a number of factors. For example, whether you live in a rural or urban area can make a big difference. The size, age and vegetation in your garden will also influence what birds choose to come and visit.
Once you really get into birdwatching in your garden you will start to notice different bird behaviours. Birds are more focused on breeding and rearing a family and in winter their main concern is survival and finding food. Bird behaviours change significantly through the seasons. You may witness birds, fighting, defending their territory, nest building, preening, singing or foraging for worms on the grass.
Make sure you wash your bird feeders regularly and also change the water in your bird bath. Birds will go elsewhere if there is not a clean, fresh water supply. Don’t allow uneaten bird food to build up around your feeder.
If you struggle to see the birds in your garden because it is too big or they don’t come close enough then you might want to invest in a pair of binoculars. This will help you to see birds that are further away and make it easier to identify them. Some birds are quite used to being around humans whereas others can be more fearful and keep their distance.
If you want to contribute to the conservation of garden birds there are many ways you can help. If you are able to record information about the birds in your garden in a systematic manner then you could help bird researchers. You can also help by joining the RSPB where you will get lots of tips and advice on birdwatching. You can take part in a project they are doing by simply spending an hour over the weekend of the 24th/25th January counting the birds in your garden. Register here now.
Here are GJWTitmuss we sell a wide range of products for birds and people who enjoy birdwatching. Click here to see our range of products including bird feeders, bird feed and nesting boxes.