Getting out into nature is one of the best things you can do for your well-being. It not only reduces stress but also improves your mood. Sometimes it's harder during the winter months to get out there, so try bringing nature to you! A bird-friendly yard or garden is not only a beautiful sight but having birds in your yard also provides several benefits.
1. Birds Help Control Pests
One of the best benefits of having birds in your garden is that they can help to control pests. Birds are natural predators of many common garden pests, such as harmful insects and slugs. By encouraging birds to visit your garden, you can reduce the population of aphids on your tomatoes in the summer and slugs and grubs that threaten your lawn and garden. Attracting larger birds like hawks or owls will also help keep other critters away – mice, rats, and rabbits won't want to stick around if they think they're in danger of becoming prey.
2. Birds Help Pollinate Flowers
Birds also play an important role in pollinating flowers. When birds, such as hummingbirds, feed on nectar, they transfer pollen from one flower to another. This process helps to fertilize the flowers, which leads to the production of fruits and vegetables. An easy way to invite more of them over is to hang hummingbird feeders nearby with a sweet sugar water solution in it – hummingbirds just love that stuff! The more birds that come and pollinate, then the more flowers you’ll have, which will in turn attract more birds AND more beautiful blooms... it's a continuous circle!
3. Birds Add Beauty to the Garden
Birds also add beauty to a garden with their bright plumage and cheerful songs. Being surrounded by bird-filled gardens creates more contentment and relaxation in your day-to-day life and makes your garden a more enjoyable place to spend time. It’s a treat to watch them flit about the garden on those cold grey days.
Want to help provide food and sanctuary for your feathered friends through the winter?
As the cold weather sets in, your garden can become a haven for birds looking to shelter from the elements. Watching them go about their business will add color and life to those chilly winter days when everything else is grey! But as you hunker down against Jack Frost, don't forget that little feathered visitors have it even harder - they might struggle to find food or resources over these months. That’s why adding some helpful features like trees and shrubs, birdfeeders or water sources could make all the difference. Imagine how rewarding seeing happy healthy birds enjoying themselves around your gardens during this time would be? Here are a few ideas on what you could do...
Create a garden full of varieties such as holly, cotoneaster, honeysuckle, elderberry, barberry, serviceberry and winterberry that will bear fruit. Don't forget mugo pinecones, spruce cones and hemlock cones - they all make great treats! Plus don't overlook rose hips, which are a real favorite among our feathered friends. Ornamental grasses are ideal habitation for insects, and therefore, vital food for insect-eating birds. Planting a variety of grasses will thus provide food and help birds year-round. With this mix, you'll be able to enjoy bird-watching year-round.
Setting up a bird feeder for the winter can be a great way to invite feathered friends over! But it's important that your feeding station is kept nice and tidy - stale or moldy food could harm them, while spilled seed on the ground might attract unwelcome visitors. Make sure you top off their supply often during cold spells too so they don't have to go elsewhere in search of nourishment when they need it most. Raking beneath the feeders helps keep things clean as well - this will reduce the chances of unwelcome visitors.
Shopping for birdseed can be tricky—while getting the cheapest option could save you money, it's not always going to mean that birds will actually eat it. A blend of black oil sunflower seeds and white millet is generally appealing to wild birds. On the other hand, if you thought wheat or oats would make them happy think twice; these grains aren't as popular among most species so don’t waste money on something they won’t really eat. To make sure those feathered friends get an enjoyable lunchtime treat, buy seeds that they actually like – they'll thank you!
During the cold winter months, birds need nutritionally dense food to help them survive. Suet is a great go-to for this! But if you want to give your feathered friends an extra treat, opt for some tasty mix that contains fruit and seeds - they'll love it. And don't forget about grit too – while birds don’t have teeth like us humans do, their gizzards grind up hard particles of sand or coarse dirt which improves digestion so make sure there's plenty around feeders as well.
Provide the feathered friends in your garden with an open source of water near your feeder and replenish it daily - this will ensure plenty of bird visitors. If winter weather gets too cold, you might even opt for a heated birdbath, or you can simply put out fresh, clean water every morning. It's critical to keep it clean, however, all season long.
Keep birds safe this winter by securing the feeder where it's out of harm's way. Place near a bush or thicket to give them shelter in case unwanted visitors show up, and make sure there aren't any reflective windows nearby – those can be pretty dangerous for birds!
With temperatures dropping and days becoming shorter, you can help keep our feathered friends healthy and well-fed by mixing feeders with plants that provide food and shelter during the cooler months of the year. It's fun to watch them and provides great backyard entertainment, too! For those who will be spending more time indoors over the next few months, bird feeders, bird seeds, suet, attractive water baths, and stands make great gifts (hummingbird feeders and nectar, too!). Have fun being creative while helping out nature too!