Winter can be a tough time for birds. Temperatures can plummet and food can become scarce and hard to find. Whether you have a large garden or a small courtyard, you can get those wild birds flocking to your garden with  Just follow these top tips:

Attracting birds to your garden

Bird-friendly gardens

Offering appropriate wild bird food, water, nesting material and nesting sites are key in attracting wild birds. Nesting birds can also benefit from a little help with suitable materials – such as sheep’s wool, hair, twigs and straw – to help with nest preparation.

Local birds can be encouraged to stay a little longer in your garden with a few simple steps:

• Planting trees, shrubs and hedges can provide natural shelter and nesting opportunities. Berry or fruit yielding plants will also provide valuable natural food sources.
• Setting up nesting boxes will provide additional shelter for birds. Remember that different types of boxes will attract different species of bird.
• Try to avoid pesticides; birds like blue tits love to feed on the kinds of insect common in gardens.
• A tidy garden might appeal to you, but a more natural garden will encourage wild birds to move in. The dead heads on plants carry seeds which birds could eat, so don’t pick them off. Insects and other invertebrates live under leaf litter, so don’t rake it all away.

Feeding time!

Feeding wild birds in your garden

Once you’ve attracted birds to your garden, you’ll find feeding time can be mutually rewarding. Feeding birds is one of the easiest ways to get up close and personal with wildlife. But different birds prefer different food:

  • Goldfinch, siskin, redpoll – smaller seeds like niger
  • Greenfinch, tits – sunflower hearts
  • Sparrow, woodpigeon, collared dove – large grains
  • Woodpeckers, tits, starling – fat balls and bird peanuts
  • Robin, thrushes – mealworms and live foods
  • Waxwings – windfall fruit

For more bird food tips, read our Which Foods Are Best for Which Birds? post.

Most birds lay their eggs and rear their young through the spring and summer months – at the same time as people start undertaking big garden and home projects. Wherever possible, construction work, building repairs, pruning, tree-felling or hedge-cutting should be avoided during these seasons so as not to disturb nesting birds or destroy their nests while in use.

It’s worth noting that birds, their nests and eggs are legally protected so advance planning before starting any work at home or in the garden can not only help sustain bird populations but can also stop you falling foul of the law.

If you need to stock up on your wild bird food or want to provide them with a new nesting place then head to our wildlife page online at

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