How to Care for Garden Birds

Wild birds are important for your garden ecology, and your garden are equally vital to the survival of our bird species in built-up areas.  Urbanisation has dramatically affected the habitat for birds, and creating a rich bird vegetation in your garden creates a respite.
A combination of shrubs and ground covers will create an environment that would be commonly found in natural bushland.  Doing this also attracts the diversity of wildlife, insects and the like, that birds love. But to encourage birds more generally how can you feed them once they have arrived in your garden?

Selecting bird feeders and water

To feed the variety of birds that will come into your garden, a range of different feeding options are required.  Some birds will like to feed on the insects that grow in high grasses in your garden.  Keep this in mind when mowing and tending your garden.  Apart from this you can also buy specially designed feeders for seeds, and nuts.  There are wire mesh feeders that are particularly useful for seed and peanuts.  These are hung from trees.  Placement is important because you don’t want it anywhere close to where domestic cats can easily reach.  Don’t put it on a branch beside a fence for example.

Other good locations include wire mesh feeders just off the ground, which will entice ground-feeding birds with food best suits a variety of bird species appetites.

If you want to attract larger grain-eating birds like parrots, then buy commercially available seed, containing larger sunflower seed.  Fruit eating birds will appreciate some fresh fruit, even things like apple coresare placed in specialist feeders and hung from trees.  You’ll be surprised just how many varieties of birds you can attract by placing out different types of food.  You can feed nectar-feeding birds with specialist mixes available at pet stores.  For a complete variety of types of foods required for attracting different varieties of wildlife, consult a guide like the Readers Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds.

Some examples of foods you might see in a garden to attract various species are insect cakes, berry cakes, chopped animal fat and grated cheese, sunflower seeds, peanut cakes, niger seeds and fresh fruit cores.

Fresh water supply for bird bathing and drinking

When providing food, also make sure you’re providing a fresh, and regularly replenished water source for birds to drink and bathe.  A shallow container like a dish work best.  Sloping and not sharp or high edges means that birds can easily access the water and get out easily.

Bird baths should have sloping sides to allow birds to get in and out of the water easily. 

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