You can’t necessarily be out on birding safaris all the time, so instead, why not create a little haven for our feathered friends and attract them to your garden. Create your own garden birding safari.
How to attract birds for your Garden Safari
Provide a water source
This is the simplest way to ensure that birds visit your garden. Set up a birdbath, it doesn’t have to be fancy (it can be from old pot plant containers, an old shallow tub or even plates). It needs to be shallow enough for the birds to be able to take a dip in comfort and in a place near cover so the birds can hide if they are startled by humans or cats. Place a flat stone or some kind of step to provide them with an easy way to get in and out of the bath.
Don’t forget to clean the bath regularly so that you do not attract mosquitos.
Plant fruit-bearing trees and flowering shrubs
Providing birds with free food is a good way for them to feel at home in your garden. By free food, we mean fruits and nectars produced by fruit-bearing trees and flowering plants that provide nectar. To ensure familiarity, plant indigenous plants in your garden.
Please note that feeding wild birds human food is strongly discouraged. This may increase their dependence on your garden but it exposes them to cats, dogs and food that their bodies are not made to cope with. It is best to plant native trees and plants that provide fruit and nectar as well as protection and places to rest. Not to mention, it will provide a beautiful garden for you as well as a shady spot to enjoy.
Leave leaf litter to rot
Aside from plants, birds also enjoy eating wriggly worms, slugs, snails and ants. By leaving your leaf litter to rot or setting up a compost heap at the side of your yard, you create a veritable feast for your birdlife.
Place dead wood in the garden
Some birds like to check dead wood or logs to see if there are any delicious morsels underneath to eat. You can also lean a rotting log against the side of a tree so that it also provides shade.
Provide temporary shelter
Give our feathered friends a place to rest and take cover (if they feel the need) by setting up a bird box made from natural materials in your back yard.
Let the sunlight in
Make sure there is enough sunlight entering your garden. Sunlight will highlight the variety of trees and plants in your garden, making it more inviting to birds.
Birds are our most overlooked neighbours. If you establish a space for them in your garden or take a look while you are walking outdoors in nature, each of them has their own unique traits.