Provide Appropriate Feed
Of course, the main reason birds will flock to your garden is the nutrition it contains. Initially, you may want to start with some basic wire mesh feeders. These hang from branches or a stand, and can be filled with seed and nut mixes to sustain birds of all sizes. Consider hanging your feeder close to the ground, so ground feeding birds such as the robin can benefit from it.
To attract specific birds, you can make more informed nutritional choices. For instance blackbirds enjoy larger fruits, and will come for apples and raisins left around the garden. Goldfinches enjoy the fine Niger seed, though this requires a particularly tight-meshed feeder. Robins will often arrive to consume loose meal worms, and larger species enjoy the meatier wax worms. Depending on the temperature, mixing feed in with Suet cakes (melted and moulded animal fat) will provide birds a huge nutritional boost.
Provide Sites to Nest
Ready-made nests prove a very attractive prospect for birds the entire year through, possibly excluding the summer. During the autumn and winter they’ll be looking for warm shelter from the elements, and will jump at the chance to rest in an artificial nest or roosting box. During the spring many birds seek safe places to raise their young.
This is particularly satisfying, since child-rearing birds will stay in the garden for longer, along with allowing you to see new hatchlings develop. Nests can range from wooden constructs, to hollowed out logs or reinforced twig structures. They can even be tailored to certain species of bird, a finch cannot enter all the doorways a robin can, for instance.
Feature some Water
Water makes a huge difference to any bird’s lifestyle, and it can be easy to overlook just how significantly it affects them. A large feature, for instance a bird bath or pond, provides an area for birds to drink, socialise, and clean themselves. If you’re feeding during the spring, you can expect to see new hatchlings brought to the feeder to wash and learn social skills, while many birds will come during hot or freezing temperatures for the drink on offer.
Water features will keep birds in the garden for longer than a feeder, and create a visually stimulating centrepiece even without the extended visits from the bird population. If you want to maximise the number of birds coming to your garden, however, you’ll want to try all three of these suggestions.