How To Attract Birds To Your Yard. Planting a tree is a really long-term investment, so give it lots of thought. To attract fruit eating birds, plant berry producing plants. A tangle of creepers is the perfect place to build a nest. A feeding plate attaches to the bottom and this will hold the seeds which are gravity fed. Where the shrubbery meets the lawn or flowerbed, robins and thrushes will stake their claim; the open spaces, the lawn in most cases, will be where flycatchers and drongos search for prey from a prominent perch. Insect-friendly plants aren’t just good for insects – they’re good for birds, too. The pleasure we get from their antics and flamboyant breeding plumage by feeding them is worth it. There are birds that actually like to nest in hanging baskets right next to the house; wagtails and robins are well known for this, as they feel secure under the homeowners’ protection. Use annuals and grasses, bulbs and succulents to attract insects and birds to the garden, they provide ample colour for small spaces and often produce delightful scents, once again try stick to indigenous options. These are often equipped with small perches, allowing only small birds such as finches and sparrows to feed, but making it difficult for large seed eaters such as doves and pigeons to perch and feed, which would otherwise rapidly finish off the bird seed. After a water source, providing food is the next best way to attract bird life to your yard. How to attract LadyBirds to your garden in South Africa. In the summer dry weather causes food shortages and during a freezing winter it’s in short supply. You may have remembered to put out food, but a supply of clean, unfrozen water is just as important, both for drinking and bathing. When you go on holiday, the birds just go next door or down the road to another feeding station.”. These birds can become dominant and crowd-out our natives, especially the small ones, meaning you might have birds in your garden, but they won’t be natives. Birds Queensland released a brochure in August 2013 describing ways of attracting birds to gardens. Florida yards often attract a wide range of native birds. And remember to add some water bowls or baths throughout. The RSPB advises using a sloping bath with water 2.5cm-10cm deep, which will allow different species to bathe in comfort. Bird-friendly plants can also offer lots of natural food. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature's menu. Seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses and grains. Dead logs and tree trunks make ideal nesting spots for birds such as barbets and woodpeckers. There are many ways to attract birds to your garden. Do not use soft cheeses. Seed eaters also thrive the seeds of ordinary daisies (such as the euryops daisy). ), red-hot pokers (spp.) It helps to add a flat stone or two to give birds an easy way in and out. 8 BIRDS TO ATTRACT TO YOUR GARDEN By providing a variety of food-sources, positioning your feeders carefully and encouraging nesting, you will attract a wide range of common birds to your garden all year round, as well as a few surprises. We don't supply anything ourselves, but our gardening gurus can assist with any other gardening related enquiries you may have. Mulch as a rich resource for insect-eating birds. Before you start deciding on which indigenous plants to grow in your garden to attract birds, do some research on which birds live in your area. ), red-hot pokers ( spp.) Avoid placing a bird bath directly underneath tree branches, as falling leaves and bird droppings may soil the water. Please feel free to contact us about anything related to gardening or our website. You might be surprised. Here birds can hide from a prowling cat or circling raptor. Plant patches of mixed bird seed and you'll be fascinated to see the response from local birds. Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden can be so simple! You can contact us on: Shahnee Stockigt – shahnee@lifeisagarden.co.za They often have spikes where fruit can be anchored for fruit eating birds. These bird feeders can be placed on top of a sturdy pole or hung from a tree branch. Food, water and shelter can attract any bird to a garden but to attract the likes of mousebirds, green pigeons and turacos you can entice them with regular helpings of fruit salad on the bird feeder. Cape rattle-pod (Crotalaria capensis) has nectar aplenty in the drooping sprays of large yellow pea-flowers that attract sunbirds and sugarbirds. Leave fallen leaves and logs in the garden as these will provide micro-habitat for various insects, grubs and worms, which will in turn attract insect feeders such as Cape robin-chats, Karoo and olive thrushes as well as African hoopoes. Many birds like a secluded spot to build their nest; thorny branches are often a favourite as predators find them difficult to negotiate. If your garden is very small, bird feeders and bird tables filled daily with fresh birdseed will encourage birds to visit your garden. Bride’s bush (Pavetta lanceolata) has white flowers that attract insects and its black berries are a treat for frugivores. Establishing a mini sanctuary in your back-garden will attract a plethora of birdlife for your viewing pleasure and is a relatively simple task. OTHER FOOD FOR ATTRACTING GARDEN BIRDS Cheese – Brown thrashers and Carolina wrens especially enjoy hard cheeses that are free of any mold and diced into chunks. Traditional square or rectangular box nests are also available and can be anchored securely around various parts of the garden. For the really dedicated, consider breeding your own mealworm colony, which will provide a delicious treat for grub feeding birds. do this, festoon a garden arch with traveller’s joy (Clematis brachiata) or canary creeper (Senecio tamoides). 1 3. Every garden should have a bird bath in the quieter part of the garden preferably near thick foliage and established trees, so that the birds can perch nearby and not feel exposed. The Garden Birds of South Africa website was Officially launched on 10 October 2006. If you love birds, be sure to read "Beauty Takes Flight' in the February issue of Southern Living.It's the story of Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary, a beautiful garden specifically designed for birds right in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina.Here are some tricks I learned there to help you, the enlightened bird-watcher, attract these feathered friends to your garden. Anchor the logs vertically on tree trunks several metres off the ground. These feeders can be hung from a tree branch. Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear (Leonotis spp. Gerdie Olivier – gerdie@sana.co.za, ©2020 Life is a Garden | “Don’t have just one bath. Keep the bird bath topped up over winter, as many birds will frequently visit to drink and bath. Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear (Leonotis spp. Then there’s the choice of deciduous or evergreen. First, is by the use of a bird feeder or a bird table. As the winter cold sets in, by supplementing their food you can do your bit to help them survive as the city becomes colder, drier and the food sources get less. Shrubbery is an important part of any bird garden; here you can offer fruit, nectar, and without really trying, a lot of insects for birds to feed on. It’s important the water in the bath is shallow; always remember that birds have short legs and don’t want to flounder out of their depth.”, © 2020 SA Garden and Home| Caxton Magazines Digital |, How to choose the right tree for your garden. Erythrinas also make for a great bird tree in general. These birds love the dense undergrowth of gardens where they turn over leaves and debris in search of grubs. Eckards shares some tips… Many birds enjoy a tall tree as a lookout spot; birds such as the Black-headed Oriole prefer life high in the canopy, but don’t be tempted by a large tree if yours is a small garden. First things first: you need to know what kind of birds could be expected in your garden. Try the tree fuchsia (Halleria lucida), dune crow-berry (Rhus crenata) or white stinkwood (Celtis africana).Did you know that the local weavers, sparrows, loeries, sunbirds and even crested barbets will flock to your garden if you discover how to plant up bird-friendly plants or install a nesting box, bird feeder or bird bath in your garden. Built by Brand Candy, Powered by VISIBILITI. A small lawn goes a long way, the open space will provide a hunting space for insectivores like flycatchers and the Fork-tailed Drongo. Indigenous wild olive, wild peach, black-birdberry and waterberry trees will do the trick. Gardening for the birds and how to attract more birds to the garden is one of the most popular additions to having a garden for many. Avoid placing your bird feeder in high traffic zones, as this will disturb the birds too much. Creepers such as the black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia elata) can be draped around the branches of trees to provide a secluded nesting site for robins or flycatchers. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature's menu. Life is a Garden is the marketing division of The South African Nursery Association (SANA). “I know not everyone approves of feeding birds,” says Sally, “but I’m totally in favour of it. Good roosting sites are provided by the Henkel's yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii), fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea), karee (Searsia lancea), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo) or buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata. Grasses, including reeds and bulrushes are valuable suppliers of nesting material to weavers who suspend their nests from trees. Stone bird baths are the traditional if pricey choice, but birds won't turn up their beaks at a dus… By choosing trees, shrubs and flowers that offer fruit and nectar, you can make your garden the local birds’ destination of choice. I personally don’t like feeding them cheese (it has too many unnatural additives), but I know some people who’ve fed their robins cheese for years with no bad effects at all. A common variety is the seed-dispersing tube type feeder whereby you place bird seed on top by removing a cap. Dense leafy trees give wonderful protection from heavy rain and provide a great place to spend the night. To ensure the highest standards, SANA’s garden centre members form part of the Garden Centre Association which strives to continuously improve the quality of products, knowledge and customer service within garden centres. This is a basic guide on how to attract birds to your garden: Established trees will naturally provide a source of shelter and roosting spots for many birds and a garden which is well planted with indigenous trees will attract numerous birds throughout the year. Favourites like aloes will attract nectar feeding birds, while seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses. I have nine in my garden,” says Sally, “you’ll find there’s segregation when bathing: one set of birds will use one spot, while others prefer another. Water for drinking and bathing is another facet of bird garden planning. Other bird feeders include platforms where bread, seed, fruit and suet and can placed. Because grass seed is so nutritious, lots of animals depend on it, and it provides food for a large number of birds, including such garden specials as twinspots. If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden consider growing a little forest (an assortment of trees that actually touch when mature); if you live in the vicinity of a real forest, birds such as the Chorister Robin-Chat and Southern Boubou might soon call your forest ‘home’. Please have a look at the Observations page where interesting stories and photos from garden birdwatchers have been posted. These GCA garden centres can be identified by yellow and green GCA flags, present at garden centres and home stores, nationwide. Attracting ladybirds is one of the top wishes for many organic gardeners. To attract the more elusive bushveld bird, however, your garden needs to mimic their natural habitat: trees and shrubs that don’t all touch (this would copy a real forest) and open spaces in between. Attracting seedeaters and common omnivores is easily done by putting out bird feeders and apples. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees that offer a natural menu. In previous blogs we’ve shared ideas about edible plants, waterwise options, fragrance garden tips and more, and here the Botanical Society of South Africa, together with SANBI share the basics to attract birds to your green space. Trees or shrubs that have fruit or berries can attract thrushes, or even waxwings in some winters (beautiful migrant birds from Scandinavia which come here to ransack our berry bushes). Consider the species you would like to attract to your garden and provide feed accordingly. As the birds feed, the seeds will filter down and spread over the plate. In order for wild birds to take up residence in your garden, you must make them feel at home. 8. Food for garden birds can be provided in two complimentary ways. The task comprises of supplying the birds with three basic requirements for survival: food, water and cover. Once you know which birds you want to attract, try to mimic their natural habitat by incorporating plants they love. Acokanthera oppositifolia (Bushman’s Poison) Bird baths come in various shapes and sizes, but most importantly, they should be anchored securely so that they don’t topple over. Attracting birds to your garden is easy if you meet their 3 basic requirements: 1. Ladybirds in the garden will help to eliminate destructive pests like aphids, mites and scale. Small birds like robins and blue tits can simply die in their sleep from cold and hunger. Encourage birds to take up residence in your garden by providing them with the three essentials: food, water and shelter. Leave some dead branches on your trees to attract woodpeckers, woodhoopoes and barbets. SANA is a member-driven, non-profit organisation, which strives to promote gardening as a hobby in South Africa for ALL South Africans. Hollowed out logs, available from garden centres, are a favourite with barbets who use them for breeding. A forest canary ©Kevin Shields. There is no point designing a habitat for a bird that hasn’t been seen in your neighbourhood for ages – or ever! A variety of bird feeders spread throughout the garden will encourage a wider variety of birds to visit. If you’re anything at all like me, once you start to feed the wild birds you will become addicted and will soon start wanting to attract as many different species as you can.If this is the case, then this article on how to attract birds to your yard should be great for you. Try to position the bath some­where prominent where it won't be a chore to clean, and refill regularly. Birdbaths come in all shapes and sizes, from the store-bought conventional ones to a genuine grindstone or simply the round shallow dishes one buys to stand a pot in. Some suburban gardens have been visited by over 46 species of bird over the years… th… Always keep the scale of your garden in mind – one of your neighbours will probably have a tall tree ‘your’ birds can use, while you plant one in keeping with the size of your garden. Our native birds don’t much like grains, and so are unlikely to eat the bread you put out for them. Seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses and grains. The brochure can be downloaded by clicking these links: Creating your Bird Friendly Garden Part 1 (PDF, 1.9 MB) and Creating your Bird Friendly Garden … It’s not easy to attract seed-eating birds such as bishops, widows, whydahs and weavers to your garden without offering them wild bird seed and most of our gardens are far too small to plant large patches of seeding grass. Fresh fruit and minced suet have the barbets, white-eyes, bulbuls and many others queuing up. 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