Food for garden birds can be provided in two complimentary ways. do this, festoon a garden arch with traveller’s joy (Clematis brachiata) or canary creeper (Senecio tamoides). Trees or shrubs that have fruit or berries can attract thrushes, or even waxwings in some winters (beautiful migrant birds from Scandinavia which come here to ransack our berry bushes). A common variety is the seed-dispersing tube type feeder whereby you place bird seed on top by removing a cap. Attracting seedeaters and common omnivores is easily done by putting out bird feeders and apples. Florida yards often attract a wide range of native birds. Then there’s the choice of deciduous or evergreen. To attract fruit eating birds, plant berry producing plants. These birds can become dominant and crowd-out our natives, especially the small ones, meaning you might have birds in your garden, but they won’t be natives. Many birds like a secluded spot to build their nest; thorny branches are often a favourite as predators find them difficult to negotiate. Seed eaters also thrive the seeds of ordinary daisies (such as the euryops daisy). “I know not everyone approves of feeding birds,” says Sally, “but I’m totally in favour of it. Insect-friendly plants aren’t just good for insects – they’re good for birds, too. Life is a Garden is the marketing division of The South African Nursery Association (SANA). Supplementing extra fruit in winter also helps keep frugivorous birds alive and … If you love birds, be sure to read "Beauty Takes Flight' in the February issue of Southern Living.It's the story of Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary, a beautiful garden specifically designed for birds right in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina.Here are some tricks I learned there to help you, the enlightened bird-watcher, attract these feathered friends to your garden. As the winter cold sets in, by supplementing their food you can do your bit to help them survive as the city becomes colder, drier and the food sources get less. If your garden is very small, bird feeders and bird tables filled daily with fresh birdseed will encourage birds to visit your garden. ), red-hot pokers ( spp.) Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear (Leonotis spp. 1 Instead that bread will attract introduced birds like sparrows and blackbirds. There is no point designing a habitat for a bird that hasn’t been seen in your neighbourhood for ages – or ever! and wachendorfias will attract nectar feeding birds such as the sunbird. Gardening for the birds and how to attract more birds to the garden is one of the most popular additions to having a garden for many. Our native birds don’t much like grains, and so are unlikely to eat the bread you put out for them. The task comprises of supplying the birds with three basic requirements for survival: food, water and cover. “Don’t have just one bath. These bird feeders can be placed on top of a sturdy pole or hung from a tree branch. This is where the little warblers and white-eyes, sunbirds and boubous will fossick happily finding all manner of tasty treats. Attracting birds to your garden is easy if you meet their 3 basic requirements: 1. In previous blogs we’ve shared ideas about edible plants, waterwise options, fragrance garden tips and more, and here the Botanical Society of South Africa, together with SANBI share the basics to attract birds to your green space. First, is by the use of a bird feeder or a bird table. If you’re lucky enough to have a large garden consider growing a little forest (an assortment of trees that actually touch when mature); if you live in the vicinity of a real forest, birds such as the Chorister Robin-Chat and Southern Boubou might soon call your forest ‘home’. After a water source, providing food is the next best way to attract bird life to your yard. How To Attract Birds To Your Yard. Eckards shares some tips… For the really dedicated, consider breeding your own mealworm colony, which will provide a delicious treat for grub feeding birds. Here are seven trees that will attract sunbirds to your garden: Indigenous coral trees (Erythrinas) for a sunbird garden The flaming scarlet flowers of the coral tree are nectar-filled sunbird heaven. 3. People who buy these products will naturally attract more seed-eating birds to their garden. There are many ways to attract birds to your garden. They often have spikes where fruit can be anchored for fruit eating birds. It helps to add a flat stone or two to give birds an easy way in and out. The Garden Birds of South Africa website was Officially launched on 10 October 2006. Acokanthera oppositifolia (Bushman’s Poison) Here birds can hide from a prowling cat or circling raptor. First things first: you need to know what kind of birds could be expected in your garden. Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear (Leonotis spp. OTHER FOOD FOR ATTRACTING GARDEN BIRDS Cheese – Brown thrashers and Carolina wrens especially enjoy hard cheeses that are free of any mold and diced into chunks. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature's menu. Every garden should have a bird bath in the quieter part of the garden preferably near thick foliage and established trees, so that the birds can perch nearby and not feel exposed. Traditional square or rectangular box nests are also available and can be anchored securely around various parts of the garden. Before you start deciding on which indigenous plants to grow in your garden to attract birds, do some research on which birds live in your area. You can contact us on: Shahnee Stockigt – shahnee@lifeisagarden.co.za Always keep the scale of your garden in mind – one of your neighbours will probably have a tall tree ‘your’ birds can use, while you plant one in keeping with the size of your garden. A variety of bird feeders spread throughout the garden will encourage a wider variety of birds to visit. Want to know how many birds have been listed thus far, what species are the most common - then please have a look at the Results page. Where the shrubbery meets the lawn or flowerbed, robins and thrushes will stake their claim; the open spaces, the lawn in most cases, will be where flycatchers and drongos search for prey from a prominent perch. Cape rattle-pod (Crotalaria capensis) has nectar aplenty in the drooping sprays of large yellow pea-flowers that attract sunbirds and sugarbirds. How to Attract Birds in the Garden. When you invite the birds into your garden, you’ll be rewarded with entertaining antics and songs, and the birds will become your partners in the never-ending battle against bugs. You may have remembered to put out food, but a supply of clean, unfrozen water is just as important, both for drinking and bathing. Avoid placing a bird bath directly underneath tree branches, as falling leaves and bird droppings may soil the water. Please have a look at the Observations page where interesting stories and photos from garden birdwatchers have been posted. Plant patches of mixed bird seed and you'll be fascinated to see the response from local birds. Leave fallen leaves and logs in the garden as these will provide micro-habitat for various insects, grubs and worms, which will in turn attract insect feeders such as Cape robin-chats, Karoo and olive thrushes as well as African hoopoes. Please feel free to contact us about anything related to gardening or our website. The pleasure we get from their antics and flamboyant breeding plumage by feeding them is worth it. A feeding plate attaches to the bottom and this will hold the seeds which are gravity fed. Anchor the logs vertically on tree trunks several metres off the ground. Avoid placing your bird feeder in high traffic zones, as this will disturb the birds too much. Indigenous wild olive, wild peach, black-birdberry and waterberry trees will do the trick. Some suburban gardens have been visited by over 46 species of bird over the years… th… Dense leafy trees give wonderful protection from heavy rain and provide a great place to spend the night. Bride’s bush (Pavetta lanceolata) has white flowers that attract insects and its black berries are a treat for frugivores. Many birds enjoy a tall tree as a lookout spot; birds such as the Black-headed Oriole prefer life high in the canopy, but don’t be tempted by a large tree if yours is a small garden. Good roosting sites are provided by the Henkel's yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii), fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea), karee (Searsia lancea), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo) or buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata. Creepers such as the black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia elata) can be draped around the branches of trees to provide a secluded nesting site for robins or flycatchers. Gerdie Olivier – gerdie@sana.co.za, ©2020 Life is a Garden | Feeding stations for garden birds come in a range of shapes and sizes. Keep the bird bath topped up over winter, as many birds will frequently visit to drink and bath. Once you know which birds you want to attract, try to mimic their natural habitat by incorporating plants they love. Planting a tree is a really long-term investment, so give it lots of thought. You might be surprised. It’s not easy to attract seed-eating birds such as bishops, widows, whydahs and weavers to your garden without offering them wild bird seed and most of our gardens are far too small to plant large patches of seeding grass. As the birds feed, the seeds will filter down and spread over the plate. 8. We were, however, surprised to see crested pigeons visiting gardens where food was provided. Leave some dead branches on your trees to attract woodpeckers, woodhoopoes and barbets. To ensure the highest standards, SANA’s garden centre members form part of the Garden Centre Association which strives to continuously improve the quality of products, knowledge and customer service within garden centres. How you landscape and maintain your yard can make a difference for bird conservation and the environment. Grasses, including reeds and bulrushes are valuable suppliers of nesting material to weavers who suspend their nests from trees. This is a basic guide on how to attract birds to your garden: Established trees will naturally provide a source of shelter and roosting spots for many birds and a garden which is well planted with indigenous trees will attract numerous birds throughout the year. The brochure can be downloaded by clicking these links: Creating your Bird Friendly Garden Part 1 (PDF, 1.9 MB) and Creating your Bird Friendly Garden … To encourage birds to. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees that offer a natural menu. A forest canary ©Kevin Shields. Food, water and shelter can attract any bird to a garden but to attract the likes of mousebirds, green pigeons and turacos you can entice them with regular helpings of fruit salad on the bird feeder. 8 BIRDS TO ATTRACT TO YOUR GARDEN By providing a variety of food-sources, positioning your feeders carefully and encouraging nesting, you will attract a wide range of common birds to your garden all year round, as well as a few surprises. SANA is a member-driven, non-profit organisation, which strives to promote gardening as a hobby in South Africa for ALL South Africans. To attract the more elusive bushveld bird, however, your garden needs to mimic their natural habitat: trees and shrubs that don’t all touch (this would copy a real forest) and open spaces in between. Bird baths come in various shapes and sizes, but most importantly, they should be anchored securely so that they don’t topple over. These feeders can be hung from a tree branch. Use annuals and grasses, bulbs and succulents to attract insects and birds to the garden, they provide ample colour for small spaces and often produce delightful scents, once again try stick to indigenous options. In order for wild birds to take up residence in your garden, you must make them feel at home. A tangle of creepers is the perfect place to build a nest. Leave the dried out dead heads of daisies for as long as you can to give the birds time to take most of the seed at the end of summer.To attract fruit eating birds, such as the loeries, plant fruit producing plants. Attracting ladybirds is one of the top wishes for many organic gardeners. In the summer dry weather causes food shortages and during a freezing winter it’s in short supply. Try the tree fuchsia (Halleria lucida), dune crow-berry (Rhus crenata) or white stinkwood (Celtis africana).Did you know that the local weavers, sparrows, loeries, sunbirds and even crested barbets will flock to your garden if you discover how to plant up bird-friendly plants or install a nesting box, bird feeder or bird bath in your garden. The best feeding programme for birds is to plant shrubs and trees which offer nature's menu. Contact local bird watching groups to get an idea of what you should be attracting, and what is common to your area. Seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses and grains. ), red-hot pokers (spp.) Birds Queensland released a brochure in August 2013 describing ways of attracting birds to gardens. If you have a favourite tree that doesn’t provide fruit or nectar, it can still provide a shelter or nest site. Do not use soft cheeses. These birds love the dense undergrowth of gardens where they turn over leaves and debris in search of grubs. Birdbaths come in all shapes and sizes, from the store-bought conventional ones to a genuine grindstone or simply the round shallow dishes one buys to stand a pot in. When you go on holiday, the birds just go next door or down the road to another feeding station.”. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Dead logs and tree trunks make ideal nesting spots for birds such as barbets and woodpeckers. If you’re anything at all like me, once you start to feed the wild birds you will become addicted and will soon start wanting to attract as many different species as you can.If this is the case, then this article on how to attract birds to your yard should be great for you. I have nine in my garden,” says Sally, “you’ll find there’s segregation when bathing: one set of birds will use one spot, while others prefer another. And remember to add some water bowls or baths throughout. Small birds like robins and blue tits can simply die in their sleep from cold and hunger. Mannikins, waxbills, weavers, whydahs, doves and other seed-eaters can all easily be attracted to your garden without feeding trays. Establishing a mini sanctuary in your back-garden will attract a plethora of birdlife for your viewing pleasure and is a relatively simple task. A small lawn goes a long way, the open space will provide a hunting space for insectivores like flycatchers and the Fork-tailed Drongo. Bulbuls and other fruit-eating birds will be attracted to your garden if there are berry-bearing plants. These are often equipped with small perches, allowing only small birds such as finches and sparrows to feed, but making it difficult for large seed eaters such as doves and pigeons to perch and feed, which would otherwise rapidly finish off the bird seed. Other bird feeders include platforms where bread, seed, fruit and suet and can placed. Bird-friendly plants can also offer lots of natural food. We don't supply anything ourselves, but our gardening gurus can assist with any other gardening related enquiries you may have. Seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses and grains. Ladybirds in the garden will help to eliminate destructive pests like aphids, mites and scale. Favourites like aloes will attract nectar feeding birds, while seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses. Encourage birds to take up residence in your garden by providing them with the three essentials: food, water and shelter. Built by Brand Candy, Powered by VISIBILITI. How to attract LadyBirds to your garden in South Africa. Mulch as a rich resource for insect-eating birds. Water for drinking and bathing is another facet of bird garden planning. Try to position the bath some­where prominent where it won't be a chore to clean, and refill regularly. The size of your garden will dictate the height, spread and number of trees you plant. There are birds that actually like to nest in hanging baskets right next to the house; wagtails and robins are well known for this, as they feel secure under the homeowners’ protection. Erythrinas also make for a great bird tree in general. Hollowed out logs, available from garden centres, are a favourite with barbets who use them for breeding. Attracting birds and other wildlife to your garden can be so simple! Consider the species you would like to attract to your garden and provide feed accordingly. Shrubbery is an important part of any bird garden; here you can offer fruit, nectar, and without really trying, a lot of insects for birds to feed on. and wachendorfias will attract nectar feeding birds such as the sunbird. The RSPB advises using a sloping bath with water 2.5cm-10cm deep, which will allow different species to bathe in comfort. I personally don’t like feeding them cheese (it has too many unnatural additives), but I know some people who’ve fed their robins cheese for years with no bad effects at all. Stone bird baths are the traditional if pricey choice, but birds won't turn up their beaks at a dus… It’s important the water in the bath is shallow; always remember that birds have short legs and don’t want to flounder out of their depth.”, © 2020 SA Garden and Home| Caxton Magazines Digital |, How to choose the right tree for your garden. Fresh fruit and minced suet have the barbets, white-eyes, bulbuls and many others queuing up. These GCA garden centres can be identified by yellow and green GCA flags, present at garden centres and home stores, nationwide. Eggshells – Baked eggshells are a great source of calcium … By choosing trees, shrubs and flowers that offer fruit and nectar, you can make your garden the local birds’ destination of choice. 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