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Watch the birdie; Tips for feathered friends; Gardening.

Byline: with David Domoney

WILDLIFE gardens are an attractive way of making use of an unloved space.

To encourage birds to feed and nest in your garden, you just have to plant varieties they love.

Plus you can install nest boxes for almost every garden bird you can think of, including owls, robins, sparrows and house martins.

Site them away from feeding grounds because the activity can disrupt mating pairs. And be patient. It can take a couple of years for birds to make it home. But once they're in, they'll keep coming back.

Also, keep a bird bath topped up with fresh water. Put it somewhere visible from your window so you can watch them drinking and bathing.

Don't be too keen to tidy up either.

Those leaves, stems, twigs and debris make great nest material for birds.

Choose plants that flower and seed at different times, so birds can eat natural foods all year round.

Climbing plants also provide good cover for birds.


Cotoneaster horizontalis will offer masses of fruit in the autumn. Fans include thrushes, finches, blackbirds and the more exotic waxwing.

Catkins are ideal for chiffchaff, while honeysuckle is a great climber for birds, offering berries and cover for them to roost. Thrushes, warblers and bullfinches love it.

Fruit from Malus Golden Hornet will decay if you leave it untouched, exposing tasty seeds for great tits and greenfinches. Pyracantha Orange Glow will provide winter berries for thrushes and blackberries.

Classic rowan is a great compact plant for small to medium gardens. Different species will give berries from July to November, providing a feast for blackbirds and starlings.

Goldfinch and linnet love Festuca gautieri's seedheads and the yellow flowers of Bidens Solar Garden attract insects for tits, robins and warblers.

Ivy isn't always popular but its flowers attract insects, which birds love to eat, and its winter berries are a firm favourite of thrushes, waxwings, starlings, jays and blackbirds.

So there you have it - attractive plants and shrubs that attract birds.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2014
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