As the weather starts to cool and your garden begins to mature, you may be inclined to help some of your most prized wildlife visitors to thrive. Birds bring so much joy, song and life to our backyards, so here’s how we can give back…
Why is it a good idea?
Did you know birds use more and more energy gathering food as the weather gets colder? The more we help our local birds survive the coming winter, the more likely we’ll see them breed and re-emerge in Spring.
Besides, nothing beats that moment when you savour a mindful moment with nature, looking out the window, with a warm mug of morning tea. Helpful bird interventions in the form of bird feeders, nesting options and birdbaths will attract wild birds and all their ensuing activity, song and colour.
Generally speaking, a natural wild bird mix is perfectly fine for your garden birds.
For even more high-calorie nourishment go for fat balls, suet balls or suet bars, and energy-rich seeds and grains.
Birds also enjoy some protein in the form of insects and grubs. Dried mealworms, for example, are a reliable source of protein-rich snacks for your garden birds. They are high in energy with large levels of fat
Do be careful with dried foods as they may swell after eating and injure the birds.
And to make sure we don’t turn them into flying couch potatoes, don’t give them a junk diet filled with salty crisps. Sadly despite the widespread practice we witness outdoors, don’t feed the birds bread as it has no nutritional value for wildlife.
Think Keto Diet when in doubt.
Nothing compares with nature’s fresh bounty. Growing fruit trees, cultivating berry bushes and allowing seeds in your garden will give the birds a natural autumn larder as well.
When To Feed The Hungry Bird
It’s worth remembering that birds emerge from the night famished, so it's a good idea to replenish the bird food supply topped up in time for the dawn when birds will appear.
Don’t forget the ole’ H2O. Provide them with a clean source of drinking water.
A simple wide dish or purpose built ornamental stone fixture gives the birds an easy perch and retains rainwater naturally. Situating it on a garden table or shed roof will help them rehydrate.
You could feed birds from any size garden - you could even encourage feathered visitors to drop in for a snack in your balcony garden.
Bird-feeding locations can be positioned from garden structures, ledges, window sills, and suspended from trees.
If you have a more expansive lawn, a dedicated bird feeder table could also serve as a decorative feature and a focus point for bird-watching.
Some options include :
It’s important to situate your bird table or feeder at least 2 metres from the ground - this makes it harder for cats to ambush the feeding birds…
Go one step further.
Did you know nesting takes place from early Spring? Make your garden a birdie habitat full of natural nesting grounds for our local wild birds, leafy cover and a rich supply of nature's bird feed: insects!
You can do this with landscaping that includes planting small garden trees, the kind that yield fruits and berries, cultivating a high hedge, or sturdy shrubbery walls and/or wall climbers.
You can install Nest boxes to provide birds with a safe place to breed and raise their young.
Be sure to position your Nesting boxes away from potential predators such as cats and other carnivorous pets.
You must also pick a quiet location sheltered from the elements like direct sunlight to keep the box cool in summer and makes sure it is installed in a sturdy location that is sufficiently protected in stormy weather.
It may be tempting for gardening use, but environmentally harmful chemicals may poison our feathered visitors. Be mindful of using any toxic weed killers, insecticides, artificial fertilisers or fungicides.
If you need motivation here’s a simple fact: Birds will naturally come to feed on slugs, snails, caterpillars and aphids in your garden. Sometimes nature takes care of itself if you think of your bird visitors as a free natural alternative to toxic garden chemicals.
Don’t be the source for nasty wild bird diseases. Be sure to keep your bird feeders clean by wiping them down regularly with an organic cleaner or simple hot water.
To avoid the buildup of diseases, rotate the positions of your bird tables and feeders every couple of weeks. This prevents diseases from festering in the ground below. This includes cleaning out and refilling the water in your bird baths too.
Stop by our Bird Care Section to view the range of feeding and wildlife care products available