Watching birds through your window at home is very relaxing, although not everyone can do this because they don’t know how to attract birds to their garden in the first place…
There are lots of steps you can take to attract birds. To encourage birds to your garden, try adding their favourite foods, water for drinking and bathing, plants, bushes, or nest boxes.
If any of the examples below ring true then at least you’ll understand why there aren’t many birds in your garden and further down I’ll explain how to turn your backyard into a bird paradise.
>> Best Ways to Attract Birds <<
Follow my steps below to help birds return to your garden/backyard
This is one of the simplest steps you can take to draw birds your way.
Some believe a birdbath with freshwater is all you need to start seeing a real difference in the number of birds visiting your garden. Multiple bird baths work even better.
A single bird bath won’t attract the variety you’re looking for, so think about dotting 2 or 3 around your garden so there isn’t just one water source.
Better yet, use different types of birdbaths.
The static birdbaths are great but to attract different species, try a running water birdbath – even if it’s just a trickle. The noise will attract more species to your garden.
Maintenance of your birdbath is the key to success. Birds need water to bathe and drink, so they will prefer fresher water.
Try to change the water every few days, and once a week give your birdbath a thorough scrub to keep everything clean.
Just like each of us prefers different types of food, so do birds. Make sure you fill your feeders with different treats if you’re trying to attract different species of birds.
Think about the nutritional value you’re adding to the bird’s life, because they’ll be more attracted to food that’s better for them.
The cheaper feed you get in supermarkets in large bags won’t really cut it, so be willing to pay for higher-quality foods if you want to see more birds in your garden.
Best Foods to Attract Birds
- Mealworms (Top Rated)
- Seed blends/mixes
- Fat Balls
- Mixed berries
- Sunflower hearts (husk free version of seeds)
- Safflower seeds
- Suet Cakes & Pellets
- Dried Crickets (large birds)
Don’t just stop there though, the ones I’ve listed above are a brilliant start, but do some more research to see what you can offer that will be healthy for your local birds.
If there’s a specific species you’re hoping to attract, then cater your diet to them and they’ll come.
Using different food types will attract a diverse range of species of birds to your garden or backyard. If you’re on a budget then try going for some of the cheaper foods to start with.
This goes hand in hand with the food point I made above because the right feeders for the right food are important because this will attract varying species to your yard.
Birds with smaller beaks such as blue-tits and robins will appreciate seed feeders to get their food from, whereas larger nut feeders will attract woodpeckers and jays.
You can buy squirrel and pigeon proof feeders to stop animals and large birds from eating the food. The feeders are often caged or have weight-activated perches.
There’s an enormous variety of feeders out there, but to start with you should aim to buy either a mealworm feeder or seed feeder.
These 2 types of bird feeder can hold various types of food types instead of just using mealworms or seeds.
Different birds like to feed at different heights, so make sure you keep things varied when hanging your new feeders. To solve that problem you can buy a pole feeding station.
You should also think about their location.
Birds aren’t stupid, and if your feeders are all placed near bushes that predators can hide in then the birds won’t come. Place your feeders in the open and away from danger…
Plants, Flowers, Trees and Bushes
Not everybody has the space to plant trees just to attract birds, but even just some local, brightly coloured flowers will attract local birds your way.
Plants and trees are excellent for local birds to seek shelter, and by planting these, you’re creating a safe space for them to come and visit to feed, nest or relax.
Bright colours attract birds as they see in colour. By planting a few bright flowers and shrubs in your garden to catch a bird’s attention, you’ll notice how quickly they’ll visit.
Another brilliant thing about keeping your plants and trees local is that this will attract local insects.
And wherever insects are, birds won’t be far behind. Birds need insects to survive, so by creating a space where insects are welcome, you’re inviting birds too!
One last thing to note about your flowers and trees is that they attract birds when they’re slightly wilder.
I’m not saying let your garden go completely, maintenance is necessary, but try cutting everything at different heights to create a more wild feel to your garden.
There’s a reason we’ve been using them for years, and it’s not just because they add something stylish to your garden – it’s because they work at attracting birds into your space.
Other than water and food, a bird needs shelter. This shelter helps them feel more secure and makes it more likely that they’ll eventually call your garden their new home.
One thing you’ll need to think about is the bird you’re hoping to attract to your birdhouse because different birds like different things from the place they’re calling home.
Smaller birds generally prefer smaller houses and larger ones larger houses, but you should still do some research into the bird you’re hoping to attract just to make sure.
Remember, an enormous variety of birds will use a birdhouse, from large owls to small wrens, but they won’t come at all if they don’t feel safe.
Just like the feeders, hang them somewhere high enough that predators won’t threaten them, and make sure it’s in a relatively open space.
Most birds will mate during spring, and so will be looking for somewhere to build a nest around this time so that they can safely raise their young when they eventually hatch.
Different birds will require different things, so offering variety is key again. For those birds that prefer not to build nests themselves out of natural materials, consider a nesting box.
Placing a nesting box in your garden isn’t always enough though, so think about giving them nesting materials too.
Don’t place these in the box as birds like to gather the nesting materials themselves, but leave them nearby for birds to easily find.
Variety is key here too, so think about leaving grass clippings, pet hair, brush piles, string, and weed fluff from dead flowers out in the open for birds to come and take what they need.
Even birds that don’t use your nesting box might collect nesting materials you leave out to build their own nest nearby, so leave these materials out.
The more birds you help, the better, and maybe you’ll even help your neighbours glimpse some birds too!
Where Have All the Birds Gone?
The number of birds visiting your garden can change at any time. Having no birds in your garden could be due to the season, migration, your garden’s layout, or more food elsewhere.
Think about it, the same can be applied to foxes or rats. There’s a reason why these pests are in your garden and not someone else’s and it’s because yours has something that others don’t!
Things like food, shelter, territory, drinking water, nesting materials, the list is endless why your backyard could be more of an attraction than other peoples.
Is Your Garden Inviting to Birds?
The layout of your garden is important if you are wanting to attract birds. Should you have a concreted yard with no greenery and no feeders then there is no reason for a bird to visit.
Should you have bushes with berries, a hedgerow, plants, flowers or soil that is turned over regularly then you’re going to attract insects, bees, flies, wasps and expose worms and bugs too.
Attracting insects and exposing worms and bugs will then attract birds. Birds will also be attracted to your garden if you have blackberry, gooseberry, strawberry, or other berry bushes.
You may not want the birds to eat your homegrown strawberries but if you cover them with netting then bees and wasps will still arrive but the birds can’t peck at your fruits…
Is There More Food Nearby?
Birds require high levels of food and in particular, high and regular availability of fat. They use fat for energy and to keep warm and must have a constant supply.
If you or your garden is not supplying enough fatty foods such as nuts, seeds, or coconut halves with fat (not desiccated) then it isn’t such an attraction.
Will Lack of Food Make Birds Go Elsewhere?
The season can affect the amount of natural food in your garden. During mild winters, birds will often be seen staying in the countryside because food is in ample supply.
In winter, birds can be attracted to your garden if you have a feeder, bird table, or feeding station that you replenish daily with food. Readily available food is a big attraction to a hungry bird.
The best food for bird feeders is nyjer seeds, sunflower seeds, mealworms, and unsalted, crushed peanuts. Don’t overfill the feeder to prevent food from going bad when wet.
From spring to summer, you can place food scraps in your garden or alternatively, on a bird table or feeding station to prevent mice, rats, or squirrels from stealing the food.
Does Migration Affect the Number of Birds I See?
One of the reasons you don’t have birds in your garden can be that the birds you see regularly have migrated to warmer pastures. All around the world, birds often migrate to escape winter.
Birds such as swallows, blackbirds, often breed in the UK and around Europe and then head south to Africa for warmer temperatures once winter arrives in the northern hemisphere.