robin Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith

Bird-Friendly Gardening is a North American book but it has heaps of useful tips that could be used by anyone. This book looks at to provide natural food and shelter for birds, and other ways to support them.

With many birds facing population decline, it’s the perfect time to create natural safe habitats that offer birds the resources they need to safely feed, migrate, breed and thrive. And making your own outdoor space a secure and comfortable haven for difference species, is fairly easy. It’s just a matter of understanding the needs of our avian friends and how native plants (combined with purposeful garden design) meets those needs.

In this book, you’ll step beyond the seed-filled bird feeder and suet block, to learn how to design a bird-centred habitat garden (for spaces large and small) that offers natural food, so they don’t have to rely on you (not good if you becames ill, moved, went on holiday or even died). Know unsafe plants and mulches to avoid near pets.  Many ‘human’ foods are unsafe (bones/raw meat, salted foods, crusty/stale/mouldy bread and buttered leftovers – can smear feathers, affecting waterproofing/insulation). Don’t buy tin birdhouses in bright colours (causes birds to overheat and attract predators – buy birdhouses from RSPB).  

The book also covers how to safely provide fresh water all-year round, and understand the connection between native plants and insects, and birds that rely on them. You’ll also learn how to design and plant a fruit garden, a bird seed garden, a runoff-absorbing rain garden and even a container garden that nurtures birds. Also meet dozens of trees, shrubs and other plants to support the insects that almost all adult birds need to feed their young. The book includes 18 projects and plant lists to create a diversity of bird-frienldy spaces. Plus tips to prevent window strikes and cat kills. Also includes best practices for including bird feeders, nest boxes and bird baths in your landscape.

The Wildlife Trusts has tips to site, buy and clean nest boxes Nestbox Company offers boxes for various species). The best solution is for birds to have trees and roosting places, without human interference.

pied wagtail Linda Hoskin

Linda Hoskin

Planting for Garden Birds is a beautifully illustrated guide to planting habitats for birds. Packed with interesting facts on environment and habitat information, you can help all wildlife with sustainable gardening. Author Jane Moore has been head gardener at a Benedictine Abbey and a presenter on BBC Gardener’s World.

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