Best Ways to Attract Birds to Your Garden or Backyard… Fast & Easily!

Shaun Bird | Updated: April 6, 2021

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 places to nest.

bird bath

Why Are There No Birds in My Garden?

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 gardens layout or more food elsewhere.

cat

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 …

Seasons will impact food availability

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.

fat balls

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.

Migration Patterns

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.

swarm of birds migrating

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.

The Layout of Your Garden

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.

bushes with berries

Attracting insects and exposing worms and bugs will then attract birds.  Birds will also be attracted to your garden if you have a 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…

blackbird carrying worms

There could be more food elsewhere…

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, lard, fresh coconut or coconut halves (not desiccated) then it isn’t such an attraction.

robin on food dish

You can attract birds with foods like bread but this is not encouraged as bread is considered to be ’empty calories’, as there is no nutritional benefit to birds and long term it could make them ill.

As a last resort in winter, if you can’t find anything else you can feed them bread but soak it in lard or bacon fat before throwing it out.  Do not do this very often…

 10 Simple Ways to Attract Birds to Your Garden

There are lots of items you can buy to transform your backyard or garden into a bird paradise and whilst this normally comes at a cost, you can attract birds pretty cheaply…

1. Hang a Bird Feeder or Bird Feeders In Your Garden

Bird feeders are a very simple way to place food around your garden in a clean hygienic way and many of them are extremely easy to hang and clean once empty.

I bought a mealworm feeder so I could feed the robin in my garden without it being scared off by the many pigeons that insist on bossing my garden and bullying the robin.

I purchased the mealworm feeder below.  I simply unboxed it, filled it with the mealworms I ordered at the same time and hung it from one of the arms of my bird feeding station.

1st Choice
Harrisons Flip Top Mealworm Feeder 22 Centimetres

A lightweight mealworm bird feeder that just needs filling with mealworms and it's ready to hang...



It's easy to fill, clean and has a flip-top lid that clicks to close and is very easy to lift off and refill when necessary.


Ideal for small birds like tits, robins and I also saw a couple of starlings taking their turns in gobbling up the mealworms.




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Apart from scattering bird food around your garden, buying a bird feeder is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to attract birds to your garden.

 

Bird feeders can be filled with a wide range of small seeds and nuts, as well as mealworms to help attract robins and other small birds.  Bird feeders are also easy to clean, light and affordable.

Should you live in a rural area that has squirrels in abundance then you can purchase a squirrel proof bird feeder that prevents squirrels and large birds from stealing the food out of them.

 

  1. Bird Table – Consider buying a bird table to add to the bottom of your garden.  Alternatively, you can build your own homemade version.  The best starter foods for a bird table are overripe apples, crushed peanuts and porridge oats