Dense leafy trees give wonderful protection from heavy rain and provide a great place to spend the night. To attract the more elusive bushveld bird, however, your garden needs to mimic their natural habitat: trees and shrubs that don’t all touch (this would copy a real forest) and open spaces in between. Supplementing extra fruit in winter also helps keep frugivorous birds alive and … Use annuals and grasses, bulbs and succulents to attract insects and birds to the garden, they provide ample colour for small spaces and often produce delightful scents, once again try stick to indigenous options. Water for drinking and bathing is another facet of bird garden planning. Gerdie Olivier – gerdie@sana.co.za, ©2020 Life is a Garden | Trees or shrubs that have fruit or berries can attract thrushes, or even waxwings in some winters (beautiful migrant birds from Scandinavia which come here to ransack our berry bushes). 3. Aloes, watsonias, lion’s ear (Leonotis spp. Acokanthera oppositifolia (Bushman’s Poison) If you have a favourite tree that doesn’t provide fruit or nectar, it can still provide a shelter or nest site. Plant patches of mixed bird seed and you'll be fascinated to see the response from local birds. The pleasure we get from their antics and flamboyant breeding plumage by feeding them is worth it. Stone bird baths are the traditional if pricey choice, but birds won't turn up their beaks at a dus… Bird baths come in various shapes and sizes, but most importantly, they should be anchored securely so that they don’t topple over. Many birds like a secluded spot to build their nest; thorny branches are often a favourite as predators find them difficult to negotiate. Fresh fruit and minced suet have the barbets, white-eyes, bulbuls and many others queuing up. When you go on holiday, the birds just go next door or down the road to another feeding station.”. We were, however, surprised to see crested pigeons visiting gardens where food was provided. Seed eating birds are attracted to the seed heads of grasses and grains. Contact local bird watching groups to get an idea of what you should be attracting, and what is common to your area. We don't supply anything ourselves, but our gardening gurus can assist with any other gardening related enquiries you may have. Shrubbery is an important part of any bird garden; here you can offer fruit, nectar, and without really trying, a lot of insects for birds to feed on. You can contact us on: Shahnee Stockigt – shahnee@lifeisagarden.co.za Do not use soft cheeses. Leave fallen leaves and logs in the garden as these will provide micro-habitat for various insects, grubs and worms, which will in turn attract insect feeders such as Cape robin-chats, Karoo and olive thrushes as well as African hoopoes. Bird-friendly plants can also offer lots of natural food. Once you know which birds you want to attract, try to mimic their natural habitat by incorporating plants they love. Indigenous wild olive, wild peach, black-birdberry and waterberry trees will do the trick. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. ), red-hot pokers (spp.) Grasses, including reeds and bulrushes are valuable suppliers of nesting material to weavers who suspend their nests from trees. Good roosting sites are provided by the Henkel's yellowwood (Podocarpus henkelii), fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea), karee (Searsia lancea), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo) or buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata. Establishing a mini sanctuary in your back-garden will attract a plethora of birdlife for your viewing pleasure and is a relatively simple task. “Don’t have just one bath. These are often equipped with small perches, allowing only small birds such as finches and sparrows to feed, but making it difficult for large seed eaters such as doves and pigeons to perch and feed, which would otherwise rapidly finish off the bird seed. In the summer dry weather causes food shortages and during a freezing winter it’s in short supply. You may have remembered to put out food, but a supply of clean, unfrozen water is just as important, both for drinking and bathing. Cape rattle-pod (Crotalaria capensis) has nectar aplenty in the drooping sprays of large yellow pea-flowers that attract sunbirds and sugarbirds. Other bird feeders include platforms where bread, seed, fruit and suet and can placed. Because grass seed is so nutritious, lots of animals depend on it, and it provides food for a large number of birds, including such garden specials as twinspots. A common variety is the seed-dispersing tube type feeder whereby you place bird seed on top by removing a cap. I have nine in my garden,” says Sally, “you’ll find there’s segregation when bathing: one set of birds will use one spot, while others prefer another. Leave the dried out dead heads of daisies for as long as you can to give the birds time to take most of the seed at the end of summer.To attract fruit eating birds, such as the loeries, plant fruit producing plants. The RSPB advises using a sloping bath with water 2.5cm-10cm deep, which will allow different species to bathe in comfort. Please feel free to contact us about anything related to gardening or our website. Before you start deciding on which indigenous plants to grow in your garden to attract birds, do some research on which birds live in your area. A small lawn goes a long way, the open space will provide a hunting space for insectivores like flycatchers and the Fork-tailed Drongo. OTHER FOOD FOR ATTRACTING GARDEN BIRDS Cheese – Brown thrashers and Carolina wrens especially enjoy hard cheeses that are free of any mold and diced into chunks. If you love birds, be sure to read "Beauty Takes Flight' in the February issue of Southern Living.It's the story of Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary, a beautiful garden specifically designed for birds right in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina.Here are some tricks I learned there to help you, the enlightened bird-watcher, attract these feathered friends to your garden. Always keep the scale of your garden in mind – one of your neighbours will probably have a tall tree ‘your’ birds can use, while you plant one in keeping with the size of your garden. Encourage birds to take up residence in your garden by providing them with the three essentials: food, water and shelter. The size of your garden will dictate the height, spread and number of trees you plant. Planting a tree is a really long-term investment, so give it lots of thought. The task comprises of supplying the birds with three basic requirements for survival: food, water and cover. Attracting seedeaters and common omnivores is easily done by putting out bird feeders and apples. and wachendorfias will attract nectar feeding birds such as the sunbird. Here birds can hide from a prowling cat or circling raptor. First, is by the use of a bird feeder or a bird table. Attracting ladybirds is one of the top wishes for many organic gardeners. Then there’s the choice of deciduous or evergreen. If you’re anything at all like me, once you start to feed the wild birds you will become addicted and will soon start wanting to attract as many different species as you can.If this is the case, then this article on how to attract birds to your yard should be great for you. Try the tree fuchsia (Halleria lucida), dune crow-berry (Rhus crenata) or white stinkwood (Celtis africana).Did you know that the local weavers, sparrows, loeries, sunbirds and even crested barbets will flock to your garden if you discover how to plant up bird-friendly plants or install a nesting box, bird feeder or bird bath in your garden. Where the shrubbery meets the lawn or flowerbed, robins and thrushes will stake their claim; the open spaces, the lawn in most cases, will be where flycatchers and drongos search for prey from a prominent perch. ), red-hot pokers ( spp.) When you invite the birds into your garden, you’ll be rewarded with entertaining antics and songs, and the birds will become your partners in the never-ending battle against bugs. In order for wild birds to take up residence in your garden, you must make them feel at home. Ladybirds in the garden will help to eliminate destructive pests like aphids, mites and scale. Avoid placing your bird feeder in high traffic zones, as this will disturb the birds too much. For the really dedicated, consider breeding your own mealworm colony, which will provide a delicious treat for grub feeding birds. These GCA garden centres can be identified by yellow and green GCA flags, present at garden centres and home stores, nationwide. Feeding stations for garden birds come in a range of shapes and sizes. Our native birds don’t much like grains, and so are unlikely to eat the bread you put out for them. Traditional square or rectangular box nests are also available and can be anchored securely around various parts of the garden. To attract fruit eating birds, plant berry producing plants. Dead logs and tree trunks make ideal nesting spots for birds such as barbets and woodpeckers. Bride’s bush (Pavetta lanceolata) has white flowers that attract insects and its black berries are a treat for frugivores. 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