Gardening For Birders

Fatbirder's Garden - Even Tiny Urban Spaces Can Be Havens ©Fatgardener Website
Cuckoo Pint and Ragged Robin

This section is devoted to gardeners in search of information on what flowers and shrubs will attract birds to their garden [yard]. Being close to nature, many gardeners are also bird lovers. Different fruiting and seed bearing plants will attract different birds. In many countries flowers will also attract birds such as honeyeaters in Australia, Hummingbirds in the Americas and sunbirds in Asia and Africa. Of course, many plants attract insects which, in turn, attract insect-eating birds.

Plants are not just food sources but offer shelter to roost and nest sites too. In many parts of the developed world gardens are becoming increasingly important to birds in urban environments, especially where agriculture is intensive. Responsible gardeners will try to keep chemical use to the absolute minimum and try to garden organically. Remember too that the tidiest gardens are often the least attractive to wildlife… rotting wood, native plants (weeds) and untended corners are often the very best places for the food chain to be in action.

Outside my urban back door

(I actually cultivate stinging nettles as they are the preferred food of a number of caterpillars – Fatbirder)

How will you know what plants to grow to attract your favourite bird? The answer is you won’t know without a little research. The websites in this section will speed your research and your efforts to create the perfect garden habitat for your favourite birds.

Apart from what you grow. many of us take great pleasure in watching birds at bird tables and feeders.

The Feeding Station & Watering Hole

Not all such devices are the same and often what is best for the birds may be the least attractive garden ornament – beware there are many products sold that attract gardeners but not birds! The same is true of nest boxes – simple constructs of natural materials are far better than flashy boxes made of plastic.

Wildlife needs wilder areas with hiding places and breeding grounds. No matter how small your space a pond will attract wildlife.

Yes there is a pond in there if you look closely

Whatever you choose to offer birds remember that food and water are most needed when weather makes either less available naturally; when water is frozen or puddles dried through drought. What is more, it is now accepted wisdom to feed all year round not just in the winter months… birds feeding their young in spring and summer will do better if there is a constant source of easily available food suitable for them to feed themselves and their brood.

Our garage roof became a patio…

Don’t forget the insects! I live in a town and my garden is tiny but I’ve counted two dozen species of hoverfly, eight species of bumblebee, ten butterflies and many flies, shieldbugs, ladybirds, etc etc etc. Leafcutter and mining bees take shelter in the bee-houses, and several damsel and dragonflies alight on my pond.

To my mind there is little to compete with sitting in your garden on a warm summer evening surrounded by bird song – happy bird gardening!

Useful Reading
  • A Practical Illustrated Guide to Attracting & Feeding Garden Birds

    | (The Complete Book of Bird Feeders, Bird Tables, Birdbaths, Nest Boxes and Backyard Birdwatching) | By Jen Green | Southwater | 2016 | Paperback | 256 pages, 760+ colour photos and colour illustrations, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9781780194998 Buy this book from
  • Attracting Birds to Your Garden

    | By Stephen Moss & David Cottridge | New Holland Publishers | 2011 | Paperback | 160 pages, 250 colour photos, colour illustrations, colour tables | ISBN: 9781847739827 Buy this book from
  • Birdscaping Australian Gardens

    | (Using Native Plants to Attract Birds to Your Garden) | By George Adams | Viking Australia | 2015 | Hardback | 68 pages, colour photos, b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9780670078707 Buy this book from
  • Cooking for Birds

    | (Fun Recipes to Entice Birds to your Garden) | By Diane Ward | Random House Struik | 2004 | Hardback | 80 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781770070769 Buy this book from
  • Cooking for Birds

    | By Mark Golley | New Holland | 2011 | paperback | 96 pages, 64 full-colour artworks | ISBN: 9781780090689 Buy this book from
  • Gardening for Birds

    | (Enhancing Your Yard to Attract and Support Birds) | By Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) | Waterford Press | 2017 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour photos | ISBN: 9781620052365 Buy this book from
  • Gardening for Birds, Butterflies & Bees

    | (Everything You Need to Know to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard) | Readers Digewst | 2016 | Paperback | 256 pages, 250+ colour photos | ISBN: 9781621453031 Buy this book from
  • Make Your Own Bird Food

    | (Simple Recipes to Entice Birds to Your Garden) | Mark Golley | Bloomsbury | 2016 | Paperback | 96 pages, 90 colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781472937612 Buy this book from
  • Native Plant Landscaping for Florida Wildlife

    | By Craig N Huegel | UP of Florida | 2010 | Paperback | 320 pages, 198 col photos | ISBN: 9780813034942 Buy this book from
  • Natural Gardening for Birds

    | (Create a Bird-Friendly Habitat in Your Backyard) | Julie Zickefoose | Skyhorse Publishing | 2016 | Paperback | 256 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781510702479 Buy this book from
  • The Garden Bird Year

    | (A Seasonal Guide to Enjoying the Birds in Your Garden) | By Roy Beddard | New Holland Publishers | 2009 | Edition 3 | 128 pages, 100 colour illustrations, 100 colour photographs | ISBN: 9781847735034 Buy this book from
  • The Garden Jungle

    | (Or Gardening to Save the Planet) | By Dave Goulson | Jonathan Cape | 2019 | Hardback | ISBN: 9781787331358 Buy this book from
Other Links
  • Bird Gardens - Flowers and Plants to Attract Wildlife

    Once you have gained the basics of wildlife gardening, it’s easy to attract beautiful birds to your garden. All types of wildlife are in search of three primary things: food, water and shelter. Each of these requirements can be acquired through the proper flowers and plants. Gardeners who create a diversified landscape can see a large rise in the number of bird species seen throughout the year.
  • British Garden Birds

    British Garden Birds is about the birds that visit an urban garden in Sheffield, England, and will help you to identify, understand, help and enjoy these and other common garden birds
  • Flowers and Plants to Attract Birds and other Wildlife

    There are many reasons people choose to attract birds and other wildlife to their yards. One might be for the pure enjoyment of watching the animals, and another might be that they provide company. Whatever your reason, there are some things you can do in your yard to attract birds, insects, butterflies, and other kinds of animals. If you are wanting more birds in your yard, there are a variety of landscaping methods you can utilize. If it is your desire to attract specific kinds of birds, there are ways to do that as well. There are also certain kinds of flowers and plants that can be used to get the attention of birds and other wildlife, including butterflies and insects that are beneficial to the garden.
  • Garden Birdwatching

    This is an amateur site created by garden bird enthuiasts and all the content used here is our own. The purpose of the site is to share an interest in garden birds and perhaps help others to appreciate their garden visitors. For people starting an interest in birding or for those with a casual interest, identification of your garden birds may be a problem that I hope that this site can help you deal with
  • Garden Nature

    Gardenature (formally Wig Wam Wild Cams) is the place to discover, learn and share everything about garden birds and garden wildlife
  • Gardeners Net

    So you're like me
  • Gardening for Birdwatchers

    Gardening for BirdWatchers provides a wealth of information on wildlife-friendly gardening, bringing together the expertise of garden designers Ian and Barley Wilson (Natural Gardens) with that of the BTO to produce the definitive guide to improving your garden for birds and other wildlife.
  • Gardening for Wildlife [USA]

    Gardening for wildlife is more then feeding backyard birds. When you create gardens and habitats, you begin to attract butterflies and other pollinators.
  • Some Great Plants for Attracting Birds in Central North Carolina

    Birds require food, shelter, and water just as humans do. If you want to see more birds in your yard, try to provide all three. In addition to the suggestions below, be sure to put up a few birdhouses to help out the cavity nesters, consider leaving dead trees and stumps for woodpecker food, and provide water. Water can be as simple as a traditional concrete bird bath on a pedestal or as complex as a water feature with recirculating pumps and waterfalls. The water should be shallow, else the birds might not be able to use it
  • Wildlife Gardener

    Wildlife Gardener contains over 50 articles all written by our team of experts and we add around new 10 articles each month
  • Wildlife Gardening with Jenny Steel

    I have moved to Shropshire. New garden, new bird list! Yellowhammers in my hedge, both willow and marsh tit at the feeders and Welsh red kites around
  • Fatgardener

    Welcome to the Fat Gardener. Expect this to be my least sophisticated website devoted to my tiny urban garden and the critters that find their way into it. It is really no more than a glorified patio with a garden shed and our garage roof
  • Shirl's Gardenwatch

    It all began with a couple of bird feeders, moved on to a hedgehog feeding station, planting for pollinators and the building of a wildlife pond. Every step has exceeded expectations in terms of wildlife watching and enjoyment of the garden.

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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