There’s something wonderful about the sounds of wild birds happily chirping away. It’s a great reminder that there is plenty of nature and wildlife around our homes that we sometimes forget to appreciate.

Attracting wild birds into your garden is a great way to experience the many mental and physical benefits that pets can provide us, without having to commit to the daily care that many other companion animals need, if you’re not in a position to have a pet of your own.

There are a number of ways to attract the wild birds into your garden. From providing them with a food source and installing a bird bath, to putting up nesting boxes and planting trees that are native to your local area and birdlife.

Before you begin feeding wild birds

Check with your local council as to whether you are in fact allowed to feed wild birds in your area. Many councils do have regulations about feeding wild birds at home, and it is not allowed in some areas.

If we do it correctly, then providing appropriate food for wild birds can help them survive extremely cold winters and summer droughts.

It’s good to have an understanding as to what birds are native to your area and feed them appropriately.

Less is best

It’s important to remember that wild birds should be getting most of their diet the natural way, so we don’t want to make it too regular or too much.   Think about it as the occasional snack, not a meal.

We want to provide them with a little bit of species-specific nutrition, rather than throwing out foods scraps for them to eat.

What to feed wild birds

Most birds eat a balanced diet; 90% eat insects and nectar, seed or fruit. So people feeding birds the wrong food changes the balance of their diet and can negatively impact their health.

It’s also important not to feed them anything processed (including mince or bread), which contains salt or sugar.

The Bird Zone products have some great Parrot and Cockatiel blends, as well as other breed specific mixes that you can find at your local PETstock store.

For Magpies try meal worms or live or dried worms A little bit of unprocessed mince meat in small amounts now and then, but preferably the worms.

Other tips for turning your backyard into a wild bird haven

  • Always ensure that your bird feeder is positioned away from your dog’s area or other potential predators including pet cats, and that fresh water is readily available.
  • A bird bath is great in summer time.
  • Wild birds use native plants as their main food source; so planting these in your garden allows an abundant supply of natural food and offers shelter.
  • Keep your bird feeder clean, and change the menu and timing of when you feed them so they don’t become reliant on it.

If you’re interested in attracting some birdlife into your backyard, then have a chat to your local PETstock staff member first to get it right.