Do you want to attract beautiful birds to your garden? Whether you have a large garden with room for expansion, or a small garden in the city, anyone can create a bird-friendly garden! Here’s your guide to creating the ultimate bird paradise.
Why do Birds Need Plants?
Birds need plants for a number of reasons, but namely for food and shelter. Not only do birds provide enjoyment and bring life to a garden, but they provide natural insect control too!
Where to Start
Start by determining the type of bird(s) you’d like to attract to your garden. Different species of birds not only have different diets, but they prefer different environments. Some prefer to live low to the ground while others like high treetops. A little research on the nature of the bird(s) you’d like to attract can help you to plan your garden accordingly.
Birds are great food scavengers, however, with ongoing construction of buildings and subdivisions as a result of urbanization, it’s getting harder for birds to find food.
- Birds prefer a variety of food – just like us!
- You can provide food by planting food bearing plants – berries, seeds, nectar, and fruits.
- Plants also attract insects, which birds also like to eat.
- Variety will attract the most number of birds – birds will flock to your garden all year round if you provide variety. This is helpful for the birds that mainly feed on fruits, and insects that are unavailable during the winter months. Since there may be periods of time when there are no blossoms available for them to collect natural nectar, it is a good idea to provide supplemental bird feeders.
- Native plants are best because they have evolved with the birds in your local area.
- Birdbaths not only provide water for drinking, but birds love to clean their feathers. Birdbaths will draw birds in almost immediately.
- Putting a shallow bowl of water outside in the garden is just as good.
- Birds are attracted to the sound of moving water.
- Birds like secluded areas to hide and nest.
- Shelter that offers food is a bonus.
- Birds like dead trees not only for carving out a nest cavity, but also for the insects. Leave a dead tree standing in your garden if it is safe to do so.
- You want birds to feel safe and at home in your garden. Make sure to halt the use of pesticides and chemical based fertilizers that can be ingested. Use organic fertilizers such as compost instead.
- Provide a mix of low shrubs, high trees, and even potted plants – variety is also good when it comes to shelter.
- Dried leaves (leaf litter) is liked by ground feeding birds where insects hide beneath.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a garden full of creature comforts that attract a variety of birds in no time! While they’re enjoying the amenities, treat yourself to a pair of binoculars, a cool drink and that ever-cozy hammock as you sit back, relax and watch your new feathered friends at work.
Hotel Mockingbird Hill
At Hotel Mockingbird Hill, the bio-diverse gardens attract more than 28 endemic birds and are listed in ‘Birds of the West Indies’ as one of the best places for bird-watching in Jamaica!