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Love nature? Love Birds? Love spending time in your garden? We’ll show you how to make your garden a bird-friendly haven in the summer months.
Do you like bird watching? There are so many things you can do to turn your property, backyard, garden and grounds into the perfect bird destination for catching an eyeful (and even an earful) of these lovely visitors.
Let’s take a look at some simple ways you can make your garden into a bird haven.
As summer approaches you are in a great position to pave the way for a more bird-friendly ecosystem in your own little green patch in this world. The long game here is to create an ecosystem that naturally provides a nesting and feeding sanctuary for the birds.
Ornithologist Pete Dunne once said:
“Birds are almost always where they are supposed to be.”
You’ll want the transition in your winter garden to a summer one to be filled with lots of helpful insect habitats, perch points, nesting spaces and feeding/drinking locations.
If you have a larger property, don’t be afraid of leaving a dead tree to live out its natural end post-winter. The cavities in dead trees can provide cover for secondary nesters.
Even if you have to cut a tree down, leaving a higher stump instead of a ground-level cut or ground-out one. Dead trunks and stumps could be the beginning of a rich insect habitat for the birds to feed on.
Let a fallen piece of trunk stay in situ and it will naturally transition into a rich natural insect hotel.
Keep The Twigs Handy
Don’t be too quick to clean away the broken wintery twigs when pruning back for spring. A small pile of twigs or debris left to mulch on the floor of your raised beds will be handy.
These may provide great building material for nests and are conducive to sustaining the natural insect population on the ground, thus providing rich pickings for the birds.
Start planting and landscaping your gardens with the following:
If you have enough grounds for trees to grow on then be sure to start growing fruit trees or keep a grow of trees intact.
You may have a smaller space with less impressive flora. In this case, wherever nature may struggle to provide, you can substitute with boxes and birdhouses. Strategically locate these in your garden area.
Nest boxes can provide birds with a safe place to breed and raise their young if placed correctly. Be sure to situate these far from predators and other carnivorous pets using height, pole mounts and suitable natural barriers.
Be mindful of the harsh second winter that we get here in Ireland and the stormy start to spring - You should pick a location that is fairly sturdy and safe from the harsher elements like wind, hail and the directly scorching sunlight in summer.
You should even tilt these boxes slightly forward to prevent rain from reaching inside and accumulating or even drowning the hatchlings.
If you have more than one nest box in a bigger property then be wary of the territorial nature of wild animals. Do the research and keep the appropriate radius between each based on the prevailing bird species most likely to visit.
Here is an option for creating bird habitats for nesting in the early spring
If you already have these in place, then clean these out at the end of winter to make it a suitable home for the spring and summer rush.
Make sure there is nothing toxic building up nearby in your garden and keep from spraying dangerous pesticides in their vicinity. Environmentally harmful chemicals such as toxic weed killers, insecticides, artificial fertilisers or fungicides may prove harmful to a naturally occurring bird habitat.
If you are afraid of the onset of plant destroying insects then remember this: the Birds that return will feed on the slugs, snails, caterpillars and aphids in your garden.
A clean source of drinking water is an essential selling point when it comes to bird real estate.
If you have no naturally running water running through your property or cannot create a water feature you can install a purpose-built ornamental stone fixture that will capture rainwater naturally and retain it.
Any fixtures or water features you may add must give the birds an easy perch to drink from or launch from when bathing.
You could even have a simple dish located on a garden table or shed roof to help them rehydrate when the weather gets warm and dry.
Don’t forget to clean out your man-made dishes regularly keeping them free from mould and fungus.
Birdbaths will also need refilling in the summer too as the weather gets dry.
Did you know we already have some great advice on What, When, and Where to feed your birdie tenants and visitors in this earlier blog we did?
Here are some simple bird feeding fixtures you can add to your garden or balcony
Here’s a handy checklist for all the handy bird care products you might be needing - You’ll find most of them in our online catalogue and our stores.