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attaracting birds to my garden

hi all looking to attract some birds to our garden we are not to fussy on the types of birds, we would just like a bit of a variety.

to be fair our garden isn't up to much the lawn is ok. but the plants aren't great we do have a nice little corner with conifers in also our garden is small. We are looking to revamp it this season. But we would like to plant shrubs,hedges and small trees but we are not sure what the best ones would be for attracting birds so if anyone could recommend them to us we would really appreciate it. and any other things to attract birds.

thanks in advance



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391

    If you can find room for Hawthorn in your hedges, those would be ideal.  The thorns provide protection and birds will use the hedges to hide in when cats are about and to build nests.  As a bonus you'll get lovely blossom in May and red berries which the birds love in autumn/winter.  A crabapple will provide food over the winter for blackbirds and also produces fantastic blossom in spring.  There are plenty of other shrubs and trees but those two would be top of my list.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    If you have a look at the crocus/RHS websites, you can use the filters on the left to select wildlife friendly shrubs and plants.

    A simple bird table near the conifers would attract a variety of birds and with regular menu's of free food you'll soon have  a loyal following. Have a bit of patience though as sometimes it takes a while for word to get round.

    Also have a look at the RSPB website as to best types of food and when. 

    It's getting to spring and birds are already starting to pair up, so a regular supply of food especially for chicks would be a good idea. 

  • thanks for the replies guys really appreciate it

  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Central southern Scotland Posts: 3,845

    Can I just point out that it is wise to check the local cat population ?

    you don't want to become a new hunting ground, might be you have to have raised feeders

    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • LucyLLucyL InvernessPosts: 163

    In my garden i get the following:

    -Starlings (loads)




    -House sparrows

    -Wood pidgeon

    -blue tits

    -Carrion crows

    -(now and again: wren, Long tailed tits, great tit,coal tit)

    I have a pyracantha Bush, it has orange berries which the blackbirds love, also i have a log under here that i put feed on the black birds, wren and robin love it under here. The sparrows love this  bush for hiding in too, no preditor goes near this as it is very spikey and thick.

    I have a red Robin bush (rather little) which the robin and starlings, and chaffinches lurk around under looking for their mealies. I have hanging fat balls and my feeder is right beside a Sambucus Nigra "Black Beauty" which provides the feeder wuth plenty of cover in the spring/summer.

    I feed mixed seed, sunflower hearts, homemade fatballs, apple slices, brown bread, dried mealworms and the fave is live mealworms. I used to feed niger seed but nothing at mine would eat it image and stopped with the peanuts as kept getting chucked on ground (as i have a dog, couldnt chance this as they are poisonous to her)

    This year i am planting blackberries and raspberries so they will have them to eat (hopefully i'll be left some) as well as nest in. Also i am hoping that with all the new bulbs i have got that there will be alot more insects for them too image

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    Birds , have a mind of their own, and bloody minded they can be too ! Oop  t'lotty, we have a veritable forest of feeders hanging off the apple trees, filled to bursting with peanuts, niger seeds, fat balls, Meal worms,multi grained seeds for this 'n that, and by 'n' large we get a plethora of wild life. Dunnocks, Doves, Pigeons, long tailed tits blues, great and coal........ pheasants come and scratch up the grass for the seeds dropped from the feeders, leaving great bare patches, Chaffinches , Green finches, an occasional grey, yellow wagtail, blackies, spuggies, and lawdy lawd ! an actual HOUSE SPARROW ! Brilliant !

    I have tried attracting more to the patch, but despite setting up a complete housing estate for the little buggers, none have taken me up on the offer, and 5 years on, the boxes are still vacant. I blame the Tories and Lib-Dems for this. 

  • Peat BPeat B Posts: 441

    Further more, I forgot the robins, a nice little wren, whom I call Christopher, and soon to arrive, the frogs in the little pond.

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Perhaps with all the birds visiting the feeders it is just too busy Peat.

    Birds won't nest where they think they are going to get a lot of competition all the time from other birds.  

    I've got boxes out this year, but it would be a bit like living at the end of the runway at Heathrow with all the other birds coming and going. I've got my fingers crossed but not all that hopeful of nesting this year with all the activity. Give it a few years and my hawthorn hedge will be maturing and it should be 'game on' for nesting again. image

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Just one of the best things you do is plant a mixes, native hedge, or plant a nice, native silver birch or two. I've got a lovely Birch copse that's always teaming with blue tits. Take a look at a thread I've just added about a list of beneficial trees and shrubs.  image Since I moved in 5 years ago my neighbour, an RSPB member, can't stop saying how pleased she is with the work I've done. She says there's never been so many birds in her garden. She puts out heaps of bird food too. So that for me makes all the work I've done worth every spadeful of soil I've dug planting. I took out 22 conifers the first couple of months, she thought I was the devil incarnate then. She didn't understand my plan. She could only think 'Cover'. Oh, By the way, as well as the Sparrow Hawks that regular vista, and the owls of course, we even get a Hen Harrier. I nearly died when I saw that. The neighbour hasn't seen it yet though, probably all my trees getting in the way. image 


  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    This was last year, it's looking great at the moment with the snow drops out and crocuses just coming through. I knew I should have got the camera out today. 






    This is looking through the Hazel Copse 


     And in summer. 


     I can't tell you how many more insects you'll get if you get hold of some native grasses. Emorsgate Seeds, sell, them and some native wild flowers. The birds will have a field day feasting on all the insects that will be living on them. That list I link includes willows. Some willows are much better than others. I have some white willows which hardly get touched by insects some years, but other times get stripped while the goat willow is eaten alive and the blue tits go crazy picking off all the caterpillars. This is why in the past my catch phrase has been 'There's more to wildlife than pollinators'. It's fine having exotics that provide lots of pollen but where's all the food for the birds? Anyway make your own mind up. image 

    By, the way, some of the Pansies are still going, not in flower, but everyday the Wren goes over them picking off whatever it can find. They're pretty much Viola tricolour, another native. image 


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