It’s one of the most satisfying things, watching happy birds feeding and mingling in the garden from the cosiness of the living room, and it’s something that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Enjoying the garden without even having to move? Now that’s a bonus!
Attracting wild birds to the garden will also encourage them to search for common garden pests, such as caterpillars and snails, all year round, which is a fantastic benefit for all gardeners.
There are loads of ways to welcome feathered friends into the garden and understanding what they like to eat helps when getting started. Feeding birds is a simple way to increase the number of birds visiting.
A regular supply of suitable food helps birds, particularly in winter when their natural resources can be reduced. Birds are vulnerable on the ground, so raised bird feeders are the safest solution.
What’s on the menu?
Fantail: mainly insects
Silvereye and waxeyes: fruit and nectar. Cut apples and place them on a nail for these birds to enjoy
Greenfinch: mainly seeds
Tui: nectar feeder. Also fruit and insects
Goldfinch: seeding plants
Bellbird: nectar, insects and berries
Living near areas of native bush and reserves containing favourite food trees will increase the chances of seeing birds; or choose varieties of native plants for the garden to entice feathered friends.Insects
The garden ‘underworld’ includes a host of creepy crawlies with essential roles, including creating rich soil, and as food sources for other wildlife.
Fantails, sparrows, grey warblers and silvereyes are insect eaters, so a healthy mix of creepy crawlies is more important than plant varieties when trying to attract them. Insects favoured by birds are: grass grub, caterpillars, earwigs, spiders, moths, beetles, and earthworms.
A good layer of mulch or leaf litter will encourage insects, and birds are a natural way of keeping them under control.
Contributed by Rachel Vogan
Tui Garden Products has a range of bird feeders and nutritious Wild Bird Seed Mix, designed to increase the number of birds in the garden. Click here for more information.