Adding Bird Feeders and Tables to your Garden
Due to habitat fragmentation, loss of hedgerow surrounding farms and mixed farming, changes in habitats types and densities and loss of diversity of flowers and animals supporting birds, gardens now play a pivotal role in supporting British wildlife. The additions of bird tables and bird feeders can be one of the simplest ways to make your garden more wildlife friendly and help British wildlife.
What tips are there to placing these in the best position?
Ensure that the feeder is in a quiet area of your garden. Avoid placing it where human traffic is greatest e.g. near the door leading out to the garden. If you place it in a quiet area, birds are less likely to be disturbed and therefore will be more enticed to visit.
If you place bird feeders near natural sounds (rather than artificial sounds, e.g. windchimes), such as near branches rushing in the wind, then birds are more likely to visit.
Ensure shelters (e.g. shrubs, bushes) are at least greater than 2 metres away from the feeder as this avoids mammals (e.g. cats) both eating the feed and stops them from hiding and pouncing on birds feeding. This shelter allows for a lookout post for birds whilst they eat, a place to digest their meals and to retreat.
Ensure bird feeders/ tables are where you can see them comfortably and are able to identify birds, both in your home and outside. A mounted bird table may help with this. Studies suggest bird watching will also benefit your mental health.
Give birds the food they want and spend time experimenting with different foods (but ensure it is bird-friendly) until you find what your local population of birds particularly enjoys. Each species of bird will have a different food requirement, as well as this varying seasonally. For more information on this, visit the RSPB website.
Invest in squirrel proof and mammal proof bird feeders, so feed is not eaten by other species other than birds.