Birds appreciate being fed throughout the year, but winter is their most difficult time, when they find it hard to find their natural food, such as insects, worms, berries and seeds.

Gardening for Birds

Hanging cocnut birdApart from putting out special food for birds, there are several other ways in which we can attract even more bird species to our gardens. Here are a few ideas:-

Grow shrubs which have berries and fruit e.g. elder, hawthorn, cotoneaster, pyracantha, honeysuckle, ivy and mahonia. These plants may also provide nesting sites.

Birds prefer untidy gardeners. Leave dead heads on plants so that the birds can pick out the seeds. Don't clear up all the autumn leaves - leave some leaf litter around so that birds can scratch around in it for minibeasts.

Don't use pesticides. Leave the aphids on the roses for the blue tits to enjoy - don't spray them with chemicals. Pellets used for killing slugs and snails can be dangerous to birds and other wildlife; if a thrush eats a poisoned slug, it may itself be affected by the poison. If you have thrushes around, they will help to control the slug and snail population in your garden, so there should be no need to resort to chemicals.

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