Ways to make more of your GARDEN BIRDWATCHING
Follow this series of top tips to get the most from your garden and the birds that visit it
WORDS: MATT MERRITT & REBECCA HAMMETT
etting to know your garden birds is the first step that many of us take on the road to getting to know birds more generally. They’re right outside the back door, so watching them doesn’t require any more than a pair of binoculars and a few moments fitted into the daily routine. But garden birdwatching doesn’t have to be about the same old species, or seen as a poor relation of more general birding. In the next 24 pages, we’ll give you ideas on how and what to feed birds and what to do to provide them with homes. Plus, we’ll look at some of the products that can help you do this and we also feature 36 of the commonest garden species. It might sound obvious, and it’s certainly the most important way in which you can help your garden birds, but feeding them not only has the pleasant pay-off, for you, of getting to see them at close quarters, but it could also make the difference between life and death for them. Remember though, once you have started putting food out, birds may come to rely on your help, and that they need feeding in the breeding season and summer every bit as much as in the colder months. If adult birds can grab food from the feeders and tables quickly, easily and safely, then they can devote foraging time to providing for youngsters. Don’t take our word for it – young birder Rebecca Hammett has compiled her own guide (see end of this article) to feeding garden birds, and it works! Rebecca even tells you how to make how to make your own pine cone feeders!
A Woodpigeon vists a newlystocked bird table