<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today click here

How to tempt more species of bird into your garden

PUBLISHED: 11:42 13 March 2018

Goldfinches tucking into some sunflower seed hearts

Goldfinches tucking into some sunflower seed hearts

Archant

Marcus Lawson from Birds of Poole Harbour reveals the tasty treats that will tempt more species of bird into your garden, be it big or small

There can’t be many better simple pleasures in life than sitting in the comfort of your own home watching birds in your garden. Size really doesn’t matter and even in a small courtyard garden it’s possible to attract a good selection of birds with the correct treats for our avian friends.

So what should be on the menu? Sunflower hearts are a wonderful all rounder as they are eaten by just about all the seed-eating species of bird. If possible avoid mixtures containing cereals as most small birds won’t eat these resulting in food being left thus creating a mess. Also larger birds such as woodpigeon will then take over the feeding area discouraging other birds from visiting.

Nyger seed, though a bit more expensive, is a favourite food for goldfinches, it can also bring in other finches such as siskin or lesser redpoll. A special feeder is needed for this fine black seed and don’t be too disappointed if no birds appear for a while as this is often the case. However, it’s worth the effort if some of these delightful creatures do decide to take advantage of your hospitality.

Whilst peanuts are always a popular choice to put out for the birds some varieties are high in a natural toxin that can be poisonous to birds and will kill them, so always ensure that the peanuts are bought from a reputable supplier. The best type of feeder for peanuts is a mesh one which won’t allow the birds to take away whole nuts which they could then choke on.

Suet and fat balls are a wonderful source of energy for birds especially in the colder winter months. If they are provided in a nylon mesh bag ensure this is removed before putting them out as birds can get trapped in them.

Windfall or overripe apples are a great way to attract thrushes into your garden in the winter as well as blackcap, a type of warbler that now overwinters in the UK in increasing numbers.

Feeders come in many shapes, sizes and colours and several studies have shown that silver, green or black ones are preferred whereas yellow and red are least visited. It is best to avoid plastic feeders if grey squirrels are in the area as they will quickly chew their way though them.

Regular cleaning of your feeders is really important as this will help stop the spread of diseases such as Trichomonosis that is hitting greenfinch numbers particularly hard.

One of the easiest ways to attract birds into your garden is by putting out water for them. This doesn’t have to be anything especially fancy as long as the birds can bathe in it and, during the hottest and coldest periods, provide them with fluid which they may otherwise struggle to find elsewhere.

During half-term why not encourage your children or grandchildren to make their own fat balls for the birds? Some supervision is needed as it involves heating lard to then mix with seeds or dried fruit. A quick search on the internet will provide all the information you need to create these tasty energy treats.

Finally, if you haven’t got a garden you don’t need to miss out – we have just set up a live feeder cam at Holton Lee which can be viewed by going to falconsflight.org.uk and click on Holton Lee from the list. Then you can sit back and enjoy the birds.

birdsofpooleharbour.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Mon, 10:24

Edward Griffiths reveals the important role this area played in the air battles of the Second World War

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

From a cheese racing challenge to hundreds of guitars on a beach, Visit Dorset share some of the more unusual events and places to explore in the county

Read more
Monday, April 9, 2018

Helen Stiles seeks out the crème de la crème of deliciously stylish afternoon tea venues in the BH postcode

Read more
Monday, April 9, 2018

‘Tis the season for walking among the flora and fauna of Dorset’s best gardens... We pick five Dorset gardens to visit in the NGS Open Gardens scheme 2018

Read more
Monday, April 9, 2018

Every May the ancient woodlands of Dorset are covered in a carpet of bluebells. We pick eight of the best spots to enjoy the seasonal colour in the county

Read more
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

With Durdle Door, Brownsea Island, Jurassic Coast and a whole host of other stunning sights, Dorset is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

From farmhouse to country house, tea room to hotel Sue Quinn leaves no crumb untested as she seeks out some of the finest cream teas in the county

Read more
Thursday, March 29, 2018

We don’t think photos of Dorset can ever get old. Here are 10 of the best shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Dorset this month

Read more
Monday, March 26, 2018

Helen Stiles rounds up some fun things for families to do over Easter

Read more
Monday, March 26, 2018

From a vineyard to a beach hut Dorset has some delightfully unusual venues for your special day

Read more
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

From its miles of golden sands to award-winning festivals, no wonder the public voted Bournemouth the UK’s favourite seaside town at the 2017 British Travel Awards

Read more
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Edward Griffiths seeks out remnants of Bournemouth’s ancient heath and the home of a writer who captured 1880s rural social history in her Larkrise to Candleford triology

Read more
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Marcus Lawson from Birds of Poole Harbour reveals the tasty treats that will tempt more species of bird into your garden, be it big or small

Read more
 
A+ South & South West
 
Great British Holidays advert link
 
Pure Weddings advert link
 
South West Life advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest


subscription ad
subscription ad

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Dorset's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search