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Gardening video: Creating a habitat for birds

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Gardening video: Creating a habitat for birds

It is beneficial for us to attract birds into our garden as they are constantly in search of food, eating a huge number of insects and weed seeds, helping to cut down on garden pests.

Follow these tops tips from gardener Alice Bowe and make your garden the perfect home for a variety of birds.

  • <b>Food</b>

    Food

    Provide the birds who visit your garden with both natural and supplementary food, and they will visit all year-round.

    Fat balls and RSPB endorsed seed mixes are good supplementary sources of food for the birds in your garden.

    However, if you include plenty of plants, shrubs and plants that produce berries in your garden, then you’ll be providing a natural source of food for them. Red berries disappear quickly, but other colours such as white, pale pink and yellow will provide a season round food source.

    You can also leave seed heads on flowering plants and birds can peck at them in the borders.

  • <b>Water</b>

    Water

    Many people leave out food for birds but forget to leave out a source of clean water. Not only do birds need water to drink, they also need water to bathe. Birds bathe to ensure their feathers stay in good condition and bathing loosens dirt and makes it easier for them to preen.

    Keep your bird bath clean and provide fresh water to prevent birds from catching diseases and ensure your bird bath is free from ice in the winter.

  • <b>Shelter</b>

    Shelter

    Over 60 species of bird use nest boxes including blue, great and coal tits, nuthatches, house and tree sparrows, robins and starlings.

    Place the box between north and east to avoid strong sunlight, rain and wind. You will also need to ensure that any birds using the box will have a clear flight path to the box without anything directly in front of the entrance. You should also tilt the box forward slightly so that any driving rain will run off the roof and not into the hole.

    When considering the planting in your garden you will need to make sure there are plenty of shrubs and hedges because birds need places to escape so they do not feel exposed when they’re out getting food. Leave food out near your hedges so they can easily flit back and forth whilst feeding.