Documents: Special Interest: In The Yard:

Bringing Birds Into Your Garden
by Cindy Trillo
January 12, 2018



 


 



 

One of the joys of gardening is attracting native wildlife and birds into your garden. Birds are good for the natural ecosystem in your garden, they act as pest controllers and consume slugs, snails and flies. They also pollinate the flowers and plants as well as eating the seeds of weeds. From the Black Capped Chickadee, to the American Robin with his cheerful song, the birds will love to spend time in the beautiful environment that you have created. Setting up a feeding station will initially invite the birds, but putting in an outdoor water feature is also a great way to bring the wildlife into your garden.

Install a Water Feature

Garden birds love to play in water. Installing an outdoor water fountain will bring new species to your garden, particularly in the summer months. The water attracts insects too, which provide a valuable food source for your new feathered friends. The birds are helping your flowers by eating flies and aphids, it will keep your plants healthy. The Violet-Green Swallow in particular is really attracted to water, and will be a regular visitor in the spring and summer months. An outdoor fountain can enhance your garden and create a restful atmosphere. It is also a good way to drown out any traffic noise if you live in the city.

Set up a Feeding Station

Set up a bird table in your garden, a dedicated safe area for the birds to go to when they are looking for food. Make sure that your bird table is at least a metre high, especially if you have neighbours with cats. Suet blocks with seeds are always favourites for the birds - the fat will help them to keep warm and insulate in the winter. Different birds are attracted to different types of food, for instance the Song Sparrows and House Sparrows are very fond of mealworms. If you feed birds bread, make sure that it is not moldy, as this is toxic to birds.

A note on peanuts

Common garden birds in Canada love eating peanuts, but these should be put in a wire bird feeder, as younger birds, particularly tits and finches can choke on whole peanuts, which they will attempt to eat. You can also get bird feeders which are squirrel-proof, as they can easily make off with an entire feeder’s worth of peanuts in a day. They have been known to work out how to remove the lids of bird feeders and simply help themselves.

It is a joy bringing birds into your garden, and once you start feeding them, it won’t be long before you can count many different species. When you are gardening, you are not only creating a relaxing space for yourself, but also a valuable home for wildlife. In turn the birds are good for your garden, providing a valuable service eating pests and weeds.
 

   

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