They say that smell is the most evocative sense, but I think there is a lot to be said for sound.
One of the strongest memories I have from my childhood is staying at my Gran and Grandad’s house and waking up in the small back bedroom to the coo-cooing of wood pigeons in the trees at the end of the garden. Waking up there and hearing those morning bird noises I always felt happy.
Where we live now, even though we are only a little way off the main road, birds are a familiar sound in the morning. Sometimes it is a little on the noisy side, but bird song is one of those sounds that I think we take for granted. Can you imagine waking up to silence? Taking a walk in the woods and not hearing a single bird? It would be pretty sad wouldn’t it?
There are a few simple things you can do to help attract birds to your garden:
Lay on a buffet
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and the same is true of birds, especially in the winter months with food is otherwise scarce. Birds are incredibly active, spending up to 98% of daylight hours foraging and searching for food, so they need foods rich in protein, calcium and essential nutrients. Rather than just chucking your toast crusts out on the lawn the, look for a proper bird seed that replicates the goodness of nature. Choosing different types of food can also attract different species of bird to your garden. (Just to say, ‘Peckish’ has to be my favourite name for a brand of bird food ever. It is an actual thing.)
Splish splash I was taking a bath…
As well as food, birds need a supply of clean, unfrozen water for drinking and bathing. The RSPB advises using a sloping bath with water 2.5cm-10cm deep, which will allow different species to bathe in comfort. Keep it somewhere visible so that you remember to keep it clean and topped up.
Home is where the heart is
Belle loves making animal homes. Sometimes she takes a tupperware tub into the garden and turns it into a hotel for ants. She lays on plenty of facilities – tunnels to play in, leaves to nibble, little puddles for swimming. She is always a bit sad when they check out. A bird house is a lovely thing for children to make though, and it’s really easy to cheat by buying a ready-made birdhouse that the children just need to paint.
Don’t keep a cat
I don’t think I really need to explain this one.
Does your garden attract a lot of birds? Which are your favourites?