Plants and Birds:
To attract birds, a common way is to put out a bird feeder, however there are many plants that are beneficial to birds and consequently will entice them to your garden.
Berry-producing shrubs and trees: the berries produced from shrubs and trees are a good food source for many birds, here are some examples:
- Rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia). These trees produce bright red berries which birds such as thrushes, blackbirds, and waxwings love.
- Holly (Ilex Aquifolium). Holly bushes provide berries in the winter when other food may not be readily available. Blackcaps, redwings, and fieldfares love these.
- Cotoneaster. Again, these produce small berries that are popular with blackbirds and thrushes.
- Hawthorn (Crataegus). These shrubs provide shelter and berries that attract thrushes and finches.
Seed-bearing plants: many birds enjoy the seeds produced from plants, and so planting these will reduce the need for bird feeders and seeds.
- Sunflowers (Helianthus). The head of a sunflower produces many seeds loved by finches and tits.
- Teasel (Dipsacus). These are tall flowers that produce seeds loved by finches and buntings.
- Evening primrose (Oenothera). Flowers from this plant produce seeds that finches and other seed-eating birds like Siskins enjoy.
Nectar-rich flowers: these flowers attract insects in abundance, meaning birds that like to eat insects will be often seen around these specific flowers.
- Buddleja. This ‘Butterfly Bush’ attracts many different butterfly species, and consequently, birds.
- Foxglove (Digitalis). Warblers and flycatchers are birds that love feeding on insects, and foxglove flowers attract many.
- Red champion (Silene Dioica). Again, this plant attracts insects, and therefore many insect-eating birds.
Dense shrubs: these shrubs’ thick foliage means birds use them for nesting and shelter.
- Privet (Ligustrum Lucidum). Many birds use this dense foliage for nesting and cover.
- Berberis. These shrubs have thorny branches, offering protection and potential nesting sites for small birds.