How to: Attract Birds To Your Garden

Our gardens are so important for all wildlife, and birds especially. Due to a decline in natural habitats, we can help them by providing a bird-friendly environment for them to feed and nest. They are wonderful visitors to your garden as they help rid your lawn of weeds, they eat pesky pests and they’re also just enjoyable to watch.

Attracting our feathered friends couldn’t be easier, it doesn’t matter if you have a small space in the city or a large lawn in the country, there are many ways to encourage them into your garden. Take a look at the tips below, and you’ll have visitors in no time.

How To: Attract Birds To Your Garden

Bird Feeders & Tables

Possibly the most efficient way to attract birds into your garden is to install a bird feeder or table. There are many different types of bird feeders and food available to attract different breeds of birds. Some foods may include:

Suet balls or blocks
These high-calorie treats are perfect for the winter months as they provide the birds with the energy they need to keep them going during the long, cold winter. Suet balls are a hit with robins, blue tits and long-tailed tits especially.

Sunflower Hearts
These are easy for birds to eat and are also rich in protein, which makes them a popular choice with robins, finches and house sparrows.

Peanuts are full of both protein and fat, so are a great choice for your feeders. Just make sure they’re not too easily accessible on a table, otherwise the squirrels may eat them all! Bird feeders can be put in many places around the garden, but aim for somewhere that is quiet, safe and fairly sheltered. Birds won’t want to be disturbed while feeding, and they do not want to feel threatened by humans or other animals. Bare in mind that it may take some time for birds to find your feeder or table, so don’t be discouraged if they don’t turn up immediately. Once they find it, they will be sure to return.


As with food, it’s vital to provide a source of water for both drinking and bathing for visiting birds. You don’t even need a traditional bird bath for this, a shallow plate or bowl or even large plant pot trays will do the job, as long as it’s no deeper than 2 inches. Make sure to refresh the water as often as you can, and clean the container periodically. During the winter, make sure to remove any ice as it’s important for them to be able to bathe during the winter months.

How To: Attract Birds To Your Garden

Bird-friendly Plants

Creating a safe space for birds will go a long way in attracting them to your garden. Where possible, it’s worth planting some bird-friendly plants, trees and shrubs. These plants will help to provide shelter, cover, natural food sources and even nesting sites.

Planting things such as honeysuckle and ivy are a good idea as they provide dense cover, fruits, and attract insects for those birds to feed on. This food source can also be achieved by planting wildflowers and as a bonus, they also look great!

Lastly, berry trees and shrubs such as rowan, hawthorn, guelder rose and holly are all perfectly good food sources and provide shelter from predators.


Finally, a good nesting spot is a sure-fire way to entice birds into your garden. Whilst not the easiest thing to achieve, it is perhaps the most rewarding. Adding a couple of nesting boxes in tucked-away areas of your garden is the best thing to do. Make sure to avoid direct sunlight or somewhere it will be subjected to strong winds. Here are a few different types of nests you can try:

Classic small-holed nesting boxes
These traditional boxes have a small hole at the top for the birds to enter and exit. They suit a large variety of small birds and should ideally be placed 2-4 meters up a tree or wall.

Open-fronted nesting boxes
These types of boxes are ideal for wrens and should be placed fairly low to the ground, hidden by plants and shrubs for coverage.

Sparrow Terrace
A house sparrow terrace is a wide nesting box which is split into 3 chambers, which will hereby provide a nesting space for three pairs. This is important as sparrows are very social and prefer to nest in a colony.

Following these simple ideas and you’re sure to see some birds in your garden in no time. Supplementing them with food, water and shelter are all they really need, so anything you can do to make your space more bird-friendly will go a long way.

Did you know that Holt Garden centre provides an array of bird feed, seed mixes, suet balls and a variety of feeders? We have just about anything you need to look after our feathered friends and keep them visiting your garden for a long time. Visit us in-store to browse our selection and talk to our wildlife-loving staff who will be happy to help.

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