In addition to the enjoyment of having birds in your garden, many of them will search for common garden pests such as caterpillars and snails all year round. They will also help with pollination of plants in your garden. Both are fantastic benefits for all gardeners!
The species of birds that live in or visit your garden are determined by environmental and climatic factors. You can help entice birds to your garden by planting varieties of native plants like kowhai and flax which both attract tui and bellbirds.
Setting up bird-friendly facilities in your garden is a great first step to encouraging wild birds. Creating nesting sites, and providing food and water sources will all help attract birds into your backyard.
Wild birds eat a variety of food - some are mainly nectar feeders such as tui and bellbirds whereas others like fantails prefer insects and bugs. Other species like finches and sparrows are mainly seed eaters. In winter when natural food sources are low, most wild birds will eat seed.
TOP TIPS ON FEEDING WILD BIRDS:
- Birds are vulnerable on the ground so raised feeders are the safest solution.
- Sturdy tree branches, or a specially designed hook or stake are the best options for hanging your feeder.
- Ensure you keep the feeder topped up so birds know they can rely on it as a regular food source.
- Birds feed most actively in the early morning, replenishing their energy after the night.
- Regularly clean and dry your bird feeding station or feeder. Feeding food from unclean feeders may contribute to the spread of disease amongst wild birds.
- Always keep food dry. Do not allow it to go mouldy as rotten food is potentially harmful to wild birds.
- Some birds feed on nectar – use a nectar feeder with sugar water to attract them to your garden.