There is nothing quite as peaceful as listening to birds singing first thing on a quiet morning, their gentle flutter and soft chirping a reminder of all that is simple and beautiful in the world. With rapid urbanisation, sightings of our feathered friends are not as frequent as they should be, and the need to bring birdlife back into communities and gardens is essential. Encouraging birdlife to frequent our cities, parks and gardens is simple with these three tips.
Birds seek out new resting places where they can enjoy shelter, protection, and comfort. One of the first ways in which birds can be attracted to a garden is to plant inviting species. Interesting textures, colors, and scents attract birds and therefore including plants such as Watsonias, Aloes, Lion’s Ears, grasses, and grains will entice winged friends to frolic amongst them. Plants provide protection and shelter from the elements, as well as attract various insects and butterflies, which allow birds to feast to their heart’s content. Including climbers and trees in your selection of plants will create a natural habitat in which birds will feel welcome and at home.
Enticing birdlife with food is another simple way in which to draw them to a garden. Birds enjoy seeds and fruit, and providing nutrition for them in an easy-to-reach way will encourage a flock of visitors! Bird-feeders are the best way to offer food to fluttered friends and are simple to make. Covering a pine cone or leftover bread crusts with peanut butter and sprinkling them with seeds offers a natural, healthy option for birds to feast on. Alternatively, making a simple bird feeder by recycling a plastic bottle is equally effective. Cut four holes in the sides of a 500ml plastic bottle, ensuring the two holes align. Slide small wooden spoons through the holes, creating a ledge on which the birds can perch. Fill the bottle with seeds, and hang the never-ending sustenance in the trees for the feathered friends to enjoy.
A third way in which birds can be encouraged to frequent our gardens is by providing them with fresh nesting spaces. Birds enjoy making new homes for themselves, and once they feel comfortable and safe, they are in no rush to move on. Birds naturally find shelter in hollowed out tree trunks, or by building nests with reeds and twigs, but they also appreciate comfortable box houses that are sturdy and secure. Encourage birdlife to find shelter by removing old nests from the surrounding area, and placing birdhouses or boxes a few meters off the ground on a sturdy pole, or by securing them to branches. There is no need to place grass, twigs or reeds inside – birds will do the decorating and make their new homes comfortable in no time at all.
On 25 November 2017, Birdlife SA will be hosting the annual Big Birding Day with the aim of raising funds for bird conservation. A hope for 2017 is to break 2016’s record of spotting 654 species of birds, which will be made even easier by encouraging feathered friends to visit our spaces once again. Provided with a comfortable environment in which they can find shelter and food, birdlife will bring the greatest reward of their pleasurable company back to our parks and gardens in no time.
Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month.