3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 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

Monday, August 6, 2018

This easy level walks takes in an ancient village described as The Mother of Bournemouth and Throop Mill of the River Stour

Read more
Monday, August 6, 2018

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Monday, July 30, 2018

Many of Dorset’s towns and villages are opening their private gardens to the public this month to help raise money for local charities, church repairs and village halls and August offers an array of glorious gardens opening for the NGS, as well as a sculpture exhibition in a serene walled garden in Moreton

Read more
Friday, July 27, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more

From paddling on the Frome to admiring one of the best vistas in Dorset, Adam Lee-Potter’s beloved home town just keeps getting better and better

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Butterflies, buzzards and beautiful views sum up this lovely summer walk around Piddletrenthide and Plush Hill

Read more
Sunday, July 8, 2018

Visit Dorset reveal their favourite lesser-known local beaches to explore if you want to get off the beaten track this summer

Read more
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Anne Brunner-Ellis takes her horse on holiday to a B&B in Ashmore where they both enjoy three glorious days of exploring the local countryside as well as a spot of pampering

Read more

From supper on the beach to a vibrant live music scene, Kate Shaw reveals why her family love living in this award-winning coastal town

Read more
Monday, April 23, 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
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tried and tested by two-legged and four-legged walkers, these dog-friendly rambles are the perfect way to explore our lovely county

Read more
Monday, June 4, 2018

From Chalbury Hill, Bincombe Hill and Came Down, there are wonderful views over Weymouth Bay to the Isle of Portland that will reward you on this challenging walk

Read more
Monday, June 4, 2018

Start your day with sun salutations in a beautiful garden, try your hand at printmaking in a mill, then finish with a Shakespeare play at sunset or a spot of conscious clubbing

Read more
Friday, May 25, 2018

Visit Dorset has teamed up with some of the county’s best photographers to reveal the best locations to watch the sunrise or sunset to celebrate the Summer Solstice

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

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


subscription ad
subscription ad

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Dorset's trusted business finder


Property Search