Feathered friends

Friday, 24 April 2015

Birds are very pretty, they sound nice and they help us gardeners control pests and weeds. Did you know that more than 140 different types have been spotted in our gardens during surveys like the Big Garden Birdwatch and that 30 different types are found very often?

At this time of year the birds are very busy singing and making nests so it’s a great time to help them out. I’ve got some wise words to help you do that and a fun craft project for you to make your own colourful birds.

A robin came to visit our garden

A robin came to visit our garden

Feed the birds

Just like me, lots of birds have favourite foods so the type of food you put out will make a difference to the type of birds that visit your garden.
The clever people at the Royal Horticultural Society have made up this list:


Remember that the feed should not be in bigger chunks. If the mummy and daddy birds feed chunks to their babies it could cause them to choke.
The plants that you grow can also provide berries or seeds for birds. Native berry producing plants you might have in your garden include blackberry, elderberry and hawthorn. Bird friendly plants someone might have planted include crab apples, honeysuckles, and sunflowers.

As I told you in my Big Garden Birdwatch blog, where you put the food will also affect the types of birds that you see. Finches, sparrows and tits like hanging bird feeders. These are best placed over paved or decked areas so you can sweep away and mess and prevent scavengers like rats taking advantage of the feed too. Bird tables are good for robins, sparrows and doves. Just don’t put them too close to trees were predators could jump from whilst birds were feeding. Blackbirds thrushes, and wrens don’t have the 3 second rule and are happy to eat their food from the ground.

Shelter the birds

To help the birds make homes in which to have their baby birds, you can hang up a nesting box.  It’s best to do this on a wall rather than tree if you can as it makes it safer for the baby birds as cats and other animals can’t get to it. A north or north-east direction is ideal as it is less likely to get too hot.

Nesting boxes made from a mixture of wood and concrete (called woodcrete) are better than wood as it is cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

We have several bird boxes to choose from

We have several bird boxes to choose from

Make your own bird

How about making your own colourful spring bird? (thanks to Happy Hooligans for the idea.)

You’ll need:
  • paper plates
  • card for beak
  • googly eyes (or darker card for eyes)
  • white paper
  • crafting decorations such as feathers, crumpled tissue paper, shiny cellophane
  • paint
  • glue
1. We started by painting our paper plates with lots of paint.
2. Mummy cut out a diamond shape from the card to fold in 2 to make a beak.
3. When my paper plate was dry we folded in half.
4. I then glued my decorations over the bird to make pretty “feathers”.
5. Then I glued some cellophane strips onto the plate to make a tail.
6. Finally I glued on the beak and stuck on the googly eyes.
Tilda is trying to steal my lovely bird plates!

Tilda is trying to steal my lovely bird plates!


Hopefully you will see lots of colourful birds in your garden (and craft table) this Spring.

Lulu xx

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