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Many songbirds are in decline. As a result, many gardeners are now putting out bird feeders and nest boxes to help birds in their own gardens. This page lists the many things you can do to make your garden more bird friendly. If you want further advice, go to the RSPB website.

Bird feedEdit

One method is to put food out for birds, especially in the winter months and breeding season. Feeding birds can also give you the fun of watching birds in your garden. You can use hanging feeders and bird tables, though some birds will only feed on the ground and will ignore even the best stocked bird table. If you want to feed on the ground, you need to protect the birds from Cats. If you own a Cat, a bell on its collar can reduce bird predation. You can also buy protective cages. The best thing is to get a large mesh diameter cage to let birds such as Blackbirds in, and this will keep birds safe from Cats.

Bird feed can be bought from garden centres and pet shops. In the breeding season, do not offer large seeds, as they may ram them down nestlings throats.

Nest boxesEdit

Another way to help birds is to erect wooden nest boxes. The two main types of nest box are open fronted and the boxes with a small entrance hole. You can also get Owl boxes and boxes for House Martins and Swallows. Whatever box you use, you should site it in a sheltered spot away from excessive sunlight. It is warm inside a nest box, and sunlight can make it too hot. Site it away from predator access. Site it away from feeding stations, as birds feeding may be seen as a threat by birds in the nest box. Boxes for Swallows and House Martins should be fixed to a house. Others should be fixed to trees or a strong fence or wall.

You can also help by providing nesting materials. Dog hair, fine twigs, dried grass, etc. are all used by birds to make their nests. If the birds find nesting materials nearby, they have more energy for nest building and egg laying.

Nest boxes can be bought from garden centres. Avoid plastic nest boxes, as these suffer from condensation problems inside. .

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