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Birds are popular visitors to the garden. They enchant with their song and are a good protection against numerous pests. 5 ideas help to attract the animals.

Birds lure with plants

Native bird species can only be attracted if you make your garden bird-friendly. This is particularly effective and easy with trees and shrubs. Shrubs are one of the most important ways to attract birds to your garden. They provide the birds with shelter, food, a quiet place to breed and raise their offspring. In addition, you can keep numerous species in the bucket and thus make even smaller plots of land an attractive place for the animals. The hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) are particularly popular with birds. Both species have proven to be true bird magnets, as they eat the berries and, especially in the case of hawthorn, the insects that are attracted by the scent of the flowers.

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), also mountain ash

Popular bird trees

  • Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus)
  • Whitebeam (Sorbus aria)
  • European holly (Ilex aquifolium)
  • Field maple (Acer campestre)
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier ovalis)
  • Pimpernut (Staphylea pinnata)
  • Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
  • Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
  • Crab apple (Malus silvestris)
  • Dog Rose (Rosa canina)
  • Currants (Ribes)
  • Potato Rose (Rosa rugosa)
  • Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)
Cornelian cherry, Cornus mas
  • Buckthorn (Rhamnus cartharticus)
  • Euonymus europaeus
  • Red honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)
  • Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
  • sour thorn (Berberis vulgaris)
  • Sloe (Prunus spinosa)
  • Black elder (Sambucus nigra)
  • Service Tree (Sorbus domestica)
  • Stone Vistula (Prunus mahaleb)
  • Shrub Vetch (Coronilla emerus)
  • Grape elder (Sambucus racemosa)
  • Bird cherry (Prunus padus)
  • Juniper (Juniperus communis)
  • Woolly viburnum (Viburnum lantana)
  • Wild cherry (Prunus avium)

As you can see, there are numerous plants available that you can use to make your garden bird-friendly. Since they are different in size and width, they really fit in every garden. When choosing a specimen, make sure that it already has well-branched branches. This way you can immediately attract birds to your garden after planting. In combination with the trees and shrubs, it is worth planting wild flowers and herbs such as stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) or meadow daisies (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum).

Meadow daisies, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Source: Jcbutler at English Wikipedia, Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare), Edited by Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Popular hedges

  • Yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)
  • Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
  • European beech (Fagus sylvatica)

A popular representative is the hazelnut (Corylus avellana), which will attract even larger birds to your garden. No wonder, the nuts are a delicacy for the animals. Hedges have the advantage that they can be used by numerous birds due to their size. At the same time, people do not hang around hedges too often, which gives the animals a lot of rest. You can even use climbing plants such as the self-climbing vine (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), knotweed (Persicaria), clematis (Clematis vitalba) and of course ivy (bot. Hedera helix) as a hedge or privacy screen. Birds also like to stay in these. If you then cultivate bird-friendly plants, you can look forward to many visitors.

Self-climbing maiden vine, Source: Federico.dePalma.Medrano, Cissus verticillata (cissus), Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Notice: If there are old trees in your garden that have cavities or where deadwood is visible, be sure to leave them standing. Older trees offer numerous shelters for a wide variety of bird species.

Create nesting opportunities and retreats

Plants aren't the only way you give birds a sanctuary. One of the most classic variants is the use of birdhouses or nesting boxes, which are ideal for luring the animals. They ensure that the animals feel safe, have a place to retreat to during the winter and can raise their brood without any problems. Even a bird house is enough to attract birds to your garden. However, you should note a few points:

  • Use untreated wood nests
  • Orientation: East
  • must face away from the weather side
  • inaccessible to predators
  • protect from strong sunlight
Nest box in the garden

These points apply to bird houses and nest boxes. You must also make sure that the entrance holes are different in size for the individual species. This way you can attract special species. Optionally, you can hang a bird feeder to offer food to the animals. This also increases the frequency with which birds will visit your garden.

Bathing and drinking facilities for birds

In addition to using suitable plants and providing various nesting options, you should offer the birds a drinker. The animals can also wash themselves in this, which supports the care of the plumage. Drinking water is recommended if the following initial situations are present:

  • hot or dry climate
  • little to no shade in the garden
  • no garden pond

In such cases, the animals find it difficult to cool off, especially if you live in urban areas without enough greenery. Also, water troughs are one way you can help out birds without a shelter. Even a bowl filled with water is sufficient if you only have a balcony available. For these, select a heavy material that cannot easily be knocked over. Not only blue tits or robins find themselves at a drinking trough. Crows, magpies and other larger species do not miss this opportunity. Regardless of whether you choose a drinking trough with a stand or a bowl, the right location is important:

  • Midday shadows
  • Escape places easily accessible
  • Clearance around the drinker: min. 3 m
  • preferably increased

The waterer should never be placed next to a hedge, bushes or other cat hiding places. For this reason, the free space around the water source is important for the birds so that the velvet paws cannot sneak up on the drinking and bathing feathered animals. When choosing the potion, make sure it has a flat edge. This makes it easier to lure the animals to the water, since they cannot fall in.

Notice: In addition to the bathing facilities, you can also set up a bowl of bird sand in a sheltered place. Especially sparrows are happy about a sand bath and will literally besiege the bowl.

Recommended: untidy corners

Untidy corners are possible in almost every garden and even on properties without lawns. Birds get these quite often as they provide enough security and tranquility. The big advantage of this method is that you can easily create it yourself. Since plant materials are used, you will find most of the materials you need either in your own garden, in nearby woods, or from friends. Are suitable:

  • lawn clippings
  • leaves
  • pieces of wood
  • branches and shoots
  • Plant debris such as weeds

For example, if you've trimmed your lawn for a long time, simply rake the clippings into a corner of your yard that isn't used frequently. Depending on the size of the pile, you can layer a few branches on top of it, for example, and add some leaves. The composition is made according to the available materials and partly according to your taste. Branches and shoots in particular can be used to set up decorative corners that attract birds as nesting sites and with food. Untidy corners are not only popular because of the hiding places. They contain numerous insects that are hunted by the birds. The dunnock (Prunella modularis) is often found in these clusters.

Dunnock, Source: Karsten, Prunella modularis, Edited from Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Tip: Simply leave your flower or perennial beds in the garden over the winter and do not cut them back in autumn, but only between February and March. In this way, many seed pods are preserved over the cold season, providing another source of food for birds.

Unused buildings and walls

There are also structures on your property that you don't use or only rarely use to lure the animals. These include:

  • Dry stone walls (unpointed)
  • garden houses
  • tool shed
  • pavilions

Most of the bird species are not large and can use the listed structures as hiding places or nesting sites if you cannot attach a birdhouse or integrate new plants. Quiet is a prerequisite for use. When the birds feel disturbed, they rarely stay in the structures. Otherwise, you don't have to do anything to make the structures attractive to the birds. In most cases, they seek them out themselves, as long as you don't hang out with them too often. This also applies to children and pets. With a bit of luck, you might even see a wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) or nuthatch (Sitta europaea).

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