Interested in the birds that seem to regularly visit your garden, but don’t know much about them? They’re called garden birds. Garden birds are species of birds which frequently visit gardens in search of resources such as food, water and shelter. Most gardens with their flowers, meadows, trees, fruits and vivid display of colours are a hotspot attraction for many insects, birds and animals. Garden birds are no exception to this! They are drawn to sturdy trees and glossy shrubs, any place where they can find food or water. Lawns and yards are the most ideal habitat for garden birds like these.
Why should you be welcoming of birds in your garden?
Garden birds are part of the natural ecosystem; they help maintain a healthy balance in your garden. Bird droppings are rich in elements such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphate – all of which are key to helping a plant grow. These are the ingredients that you look for in fertilizer when buying one over the counter. Bird droppings therefore serve as nature’s fertilizer for plants and foliage in your garden and you shouldn’t try to get rid of them!
Balance Food chain
Birds also eat small animals, plants and insects such as earthworms. They can also help control the spread of insects and pests in your garden. Garden birds serve a key role in the food web and larger feeding relationship between different organisms in any habitat.
Several birds are also ‘nectar-feeding’ which means that they actually help move pollen across the landscape. This can help the flora in your garden to flourish. Common examples of such birds include the hummingbird and sunbird.
Help seed dispersal
Birds can also help disperse seeds if they are a fruit-eating species. Often the seeds can pass through their digestive tract, completely unharmed by the body’s chemicals, and are excreted in faeces. This can help plants grow in new places.
Why are garden birds important?
Apart from offering a long list of environmental and natural benefits to the land, you should value garden birds as a species whose population has greatly dwindled down over the years. Garden birds used to be extremely common once upon a time, but their numbers have greatly fallen since the advent of urban development. Several of their habitats and homes have been destroyed at the hands of agricultural intensification and land cleared up for industrial/agrarian purposes.
Biodiversity of garden birds in the UK
The irony is that most of the ‘natural’ habitat for garden birds are not found in wilderness areas such as forests and wild fields, but rather in man-made gardens themselves. Acres of land formed by gardens spread across the UK form a larger habitat for garden birds compared to natural reserves. Several species are in trouble such as the house sparrows which have been brought down to 29% of their original population.
Welcome Garden Birds in your space
For this reason, creating welcoming gardens is one way to be hospitable towards these poor garden birds who have already had such a tough time. Moreover, it’s a two-way street where both your garden and the birds that frequently visit it mutually benefit each other.
What are a few common birds that you will come across in your garden?
Different seasons may invite different varieties of garden birds to your home. Here are a few of the most common garden birds in the UK that you are most likely to see in your garden.
The Robin is one of the easiest birds to identify in any garden. Robins are typically attracted to gardens by food sources such as peanuts, earthworms, mealworms, fruits (apples, pears, plums) and suet cakes. They are also drawn to gardens with nest boxes in them because they enjoy tucking themselves in the bird hole.
A robin is extremely easy to spot in the wild, with its reddish-orange chest puffing in and out as it breathes like a warrior. With its beady eyes and feathery gown, the bird is most commonly season before spring starts. The bird has long represented good luck and been symbolic for Christmas.
The Great Tit is the largest bird of the tit family, in all of the UK. This bird is also fairly easy to spot with its elliptical blue head poking out, above soft patches of feathery white around its cheeks. With a tuft of golden-yellow feathers around its chest, wrapped in deep-sea blue – the Great Tit can be a colourful visitor for your garden.
The bird is most popular for its two-syllable song that is a giveaway. Next time you hear its friendly chirping, you will know who has decided to drop by for a visit.
The goldfinch is an extremely vibrantly patterned bird, coloured all over in shades of bright red and orange with yellow patches all over its wings. The bird itself is quite friendly and sociable, although it breeds in lose numbers.
They’re fine beaks are suited to being able to extract seeds with ease. If you want to attract goldfinches to your garden, consider adding bird tables and feeders. Don’t expect visits from it during winter, because most of them migrate during the cold season.
Even though this bird species is called ‘blackbird’ the name holds completely true for only males. If you see a bird with a bright orange beak, lathered in brown-black feathers with spots and streaks across the chest area – you might be looking at a female blackbird!
The blackbird is quite easy to identify in broad daylight, but past dusk it can hide well in dark corners. But don’t worry, sometimes you will be able to identify it by the mellow song it sings and know that a blackbird has visited you.
The Bottom Line
Garden birds can add more life to your space and entertain you with their stunning songs. If you want to enjoy the benefits of garden birds as well as enjoy their chirping every morning, make your gardens welcoming enough for the local garden birds. You will not regret hosting these guests!