How to attract birds to your garden

Attracting birds to your garden can be a wonderful way to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of our feathered friends. With a few simple steps, you can create a welcoming environment for birds of all species, from colorful finches to majestic birds of prey. In this article, we will explore some of the best ways to attract birds to your garden in the UK.

1. Provide Food

The first and most obvious step in attracting birds to your garden is to provide them with food. Different bird species have different dietary requirements, so it’s important to offer a variety of foods to attract a diverse range of birds. For example, finches and sparrows are attracted to seeds, while robins and thrushes prefer worms and insects. You can buy bird feeders and bird tables from garden centres or online retailers. If you’re feeling creative, you can also make your own bird feeders using household items like pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Whatever you choose, make sure to keep the feeding station clean and well-stocked.

2. Create a water source

Birds need access to clean water for drinking and bathing. A bird bath is a great way to provide this essential resource. You can buy a bird bath from a garden centre or online retailer, or you can make your own using a shallow dish or basin. Make sure to keep the water clean and change it frequently to prevent the growth of algae and other bacteria. You can also add a small fountain or bubbler to the bird bath to create a moving water source, which many birds find more attractive.

3. Plant bird-friendly flowers and shrubs

Birds are attracted to gardens with a variety of plants and trees. Planting flowers and shrubs that produce seeds, berries, and nectar is a great way to attract birds to your garden. Some good choices include sunflowers, coneflowers, black-eyed susans, and honeysuckle. You can also plant fruit trees, such as apple, cherry, and pear, which will provide both food and nesting sites for birds. If you have space, consider planting a hedge, which can provide cover and nesting sites for birds.

4. Provide nesting sites

Birds need safe and secure places to build their nests and raise their young. You can provide nesting sites by putting up bird boxes or nesting shelves. Different bird species have different requirements for their nesting sites, so make sure to choose a box or shelf that is appropriate for the birds you want to attract. You can also create natural nesting sites by leaving dead trees and branches in your garden, which many birds use for nesting.

5. Provide cover

Birds need cover to feel safe and secure in your garden. You can provide cover by planting shrubs and trees, creating a hedge, or installing a trellis. You can also create a brush pile by stacking fallen branches and leaves in a corner of your garden. This will provide cover for ground-dwelling birds like thrushes and wrens.

6. Minimise hazards

Finally, it’s important to minimise hazards in your garden that could harm birds. For example, you should avoid using pesticides and herbicides, which can kill birds directly or indirectly by reducing the availability of insects and other food sources. You should also avoid using bird netting, which can entangle birds and cause injury or death. Finally, make sure to clean up any litter or debris in your garden that could be hazardous to birds.

7. Provide Different Levels

Different bird species have different preferences for the height of their food and water sources. For example, some birds like to feed at ground level, while others prefer to feed at higher elevations. Providing multiple bird feeders at different heights and locations can attract a wider variety of bird species to your backyard.

8. Keep Cats Indoors

Outdoor cats are a common predator of backyard birds, so it’s important to keep your cats indoors to protect the birds in your backyard. If you do let your cats outside, make sure to supervise them and keep them on a leash or in a cat enclosure.

9. Offer Variety

Just like people, birds enjoy variety in their diets. Offering a variety of foods and feeders can attract a wider range of bird species to your backyard. Try rotating different types of seeds and fruits in your feeders to keep the birds interested and coming back for more.

10. Provide Year-Round Care

Birds need food, water, and shelter year-round, so it’s important to provide care for them throughout all seasons. In the winter, provide high-energy foods like suet and sunflower seeds to help birds stay warm and nourished. In the summer, provide plenty of water for drinking and bathing, and make sure to keep birdhouses and nesting boxes clean and free of debris.


Attracting birds to your garden in England is a rewarding and enjoyable activity. By providing food, water, nesting sites, cover, and a safe environment, you can create a welcoming habitat for birds of all species. Whether you’re an experienced birdwatcher or a novice nature lover, creating a bird-friendly garden is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of our feathered friends. With a little effort and patience, you can create a garden that is a haven for birds and a joy to behold. So go ahead and start planning your bird-friendly garden today!