Waking up to chirpy birds is sure to make any Monday a little less blue. To attract birds to your garden you need to create the perfect feathery home for them to settle down in. With nectar, food, fresh bath water and a space to nest you are sure to have a bird haven right in your back garden!
- Choosing the right plants to attract birds
Choosing plants that birds are known to love is a sure way to attract them to your garden. Trees, shrubs and nectar are the three things you need to keep in mind that are known feathered favourites.
The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature’s menu. Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear, red-hot pokers and wachendorfias will those that feed on nectar such as sunbirds. For the birds that prefer a seed diet, seed heads of grasses, grains and ordinary daisies will do best in your garden. When it comes to attracting fruit eating birds, try planting a tree fuchsia, dune crow-berry or wit-stinkhoud.
- Creating the perfect home
Birds will be happy to visit your garden with these inviting plants in there, but what will make them stay is when they find the perfect nesting spot in your garden. Trees provide an obvious shelter for birds looking to build their homes, especially those that are indigenous such as Henkel’s yellowwood, fever trees, karee, and sweet thorns. If your garden lacks an established tree, birds could find a nesting box very appealing. Anything that will provide a safe and secure home, is a good way to inviting birds to nest. Nesting boxes can come in many shapes such as a hollowed out log or a traditional square or rectangular box and other shapes can be found right at 4 Seasons.
Once you have a nesting box, its important to set it up in a good little area where birds can start home-making. Be sure to change the location of the nesting box if you find it abandoned as this may be a sign that the birds aren’t happy with your placement choice. By moving it around a bit, you could find it filled within a few days. It is also vital to clean out your nesting box every winter to make space for new birds to build their home, parasite free.
- Beaks and bathing
A bird bath is a garden essential. Place your bird bath in a corner where the birds can feel safe and not exposed to take a little bath. Your feathered friends will appreciate some fresh water to drink and bathe in, and so your birdbath will need to be scrubbed regularly to remove the algae build-up and steriliser the water – which also keeps the mozzies away!
- Bird menu
Attracting birds is easily done by providing bird food in your garden. By planting a few of their favourite plants, fruits and grains, you’re providing a nice variety of snacks to choose from.
Most birds are attracted to the colours orange and red, so by planting these colours you are sure to catch their eye. The nectar-filled flowers of aloe, Cape honeysuckle, Natal bottlebrush, wild pomegranate, erythrina, hibiscus, red hot pokers and proteas are all flying favourites.
The droppings of leaves are able to then create mulch in the soil which also provides a pantry of insects for insect and worm eating birds. Aside from plants, bird feeders filled with fresh bird seed provide a nice staple for the birds in your garden. Choose a feeder with a roof to protect the seed from rain – that way the seeds stay dry and fresh. By hanging your bird feeder under a tree, birds are able to enjoy their food with protection from predators. We have a range off bird feeders in all shapes, sizes and styles here at 4 Seasons, so you’ll be able to choose the bird feeder that is most convenient while suiting your garden. You can then fill your bird feeder with seed, apples or even mealworms!
- Birds to look out for in your garden
By providing a menu of food for your birds, placing your feeders in the right spots and encouraging bird nesting, you will be able to attract and welcome a variety of birds to your garden all year round and maybe a few rare ones too! Some birds to look out for in Heidelberg area are:
African Grass Owl
Sentinel Rock Thrush
Kalahari Scrub Robin
African Marsh Harrier
We hope that this blog will give some great tips for filling your garden with some lovely tweets and chirps. Monitor your garden and listen to your garden during the morning to find out if you have been successful, and what your birds seem to enjoy for future bird watching.