How to encourage birds to your garden

It’s the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)’s Big Garden Birdwatch soon, so get ready and make some simple changes to encourage more visits from our flying feathered friends.

Posted on 25th January 2024

Encourage more bird to your garden

No matter the size of your garden, or where in Essex you are situated, these simple additions to your garden will encourage yearlong activity for you to enjoy.

Unfortunately, we’ve lost 38 million birds from UK skies in the last 60 years. But the good news is that, with these tips, you won’t have to wait long to see more birds enjoying your garden.

Follow these tips and start seeing more birds in 2024.

Here are our top tips on how to encourage birds to your garden

1. Provide different types of food and water

Winter is a good time to provide extra food for birds who are experiencing natural food shortages. There are many different types of bird foods and feeders available to buy, each attracting different types of birds. Sightings of Blackbirds are in decline. They mostly feed on the ground, so try scattering fatty nibbles or mealworms on the ground and see how many you can spot.

Why not also consider planting berry-rich trees and shrubs like rowan, hawthorn and holly which will not only provide a natural food source for many birds but also shelter and nesting sites as well.

2. Create a shelter in your garden

Adding a few nesting boxes in sheltered areas of your garden, away from potential predators, is the best way to do this. Try different spots, somewhere between north- and east-facing is ideal. Use our handy Nest Box Building Guide to build your own nest box.

Try spending a few days looking out for bird nesting activity before trimming any hedges in your garden. Although nesting usually takes place between the months of March and August, some birds nest earlier (or stay later). If you see any nesting activity, put down your shears and wait to see who’s chosen your hedge as their new home.

3. Help by preventing the spread of disease

You can help keep the birds in your garden healthy by regularly cleaning bird feeders, tables and baths to prevent the build-up of bacteria and viruses which can spread diseases. Use gloves and warm soapy water to clean your bird friendly equipment weekly to kill any lurking bacteria.

You are now ready to start spotting more wildlife in your garden! Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch between 26 – 28 January and help provide valuable insight into how garden birds are faring.