How to Help Birds in the City

StarlingUrbanization is making it increasingly difficult for birds to find sufficient natural food, with gardens adopting hard landscaping such as decking or car parking and green spaces being given over to development. It’s quite easy to use your garden to help the birds, even if you only have a small space, or even just a balcony.

Nesting opportunities
House Sparrows, Starlings and Swifts are classic urban birds and use our homes as nesting habitat instead of the cliffs and hollow trees they would once have relied on, but there are plenty of other birds to be found in towns. Even if you have a balcony or roof garden at some height above the ground, Robins, Blue Tits and Great Tits are quite likely to appear, and readily take to suitably placed nest boxes. Autumn is the ideal time to put up a nest box as it will provide a sheltered roosting spot over the winter and be ready for the birds to use at the start of the breeding season.

Food
The fragmented habitat in towns and cities can cause temporary shortages of natural food, which is why year-round feeding has been encouraged for around twenty years. It is important to choose good quality, calorie packed food to give the birds the help that they need.

Sunflower hearts and peanuts contain lots of energy, or you can choose a mix such as Hi-Energy No Mess or Hi-Energy Supreme that are also rich in calories.  Our peanut cakes are another great source of energy and available in a variety of sizes and flavours, including filled coconuts and a range of nutritious treats.  You can read more about our range of calorie packed fat products here.

Feeding systems
We have a great choice of bird feeders, and years of experience in developing designs that work well. For instance we use a feeding ring instead of a standard perch, allowing the birds to feed in their natural posture and still keep an eye out for danger. Feeders are also available with suction cups so that they can be attached to windows, providing great close up views of the birds as they feed.

Planting for wildlife
No matter how small the space it’s possible to garden for wildlife, even on a balcony. Plants such as Mini Buddlejas can be grown in containers and will attract a range of beneficial insects. For autumn colour plants such as Dwarf Dogwood or Cotoneaster both look great, and both plants produce summer flowers that are attractive to bees and other pollinators, followed by berries that are a delicacy for the birds. It’s also worth considering fruit bushes such as blackberries or raspberries that will produce fruit that you can enjoy as well as the birds!

Other ways to help wildlife as well as providing nest boxes, food and plants to encourage wildlife there are other options such as adding an insect shelter, bat box or bird bath. If your garden gets visited by hedgehogs, squirrels or frogs and toads you will find a range of products in this catalogue to help you to help your wildlife.

In short, no matter how small the garden or balcony, it’s always possible to bring nature closer.

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