How to attract birds in your garden
Birds, more than perhaps any other form of life, excite us the most. Their form, colors & melodious calls cannot fail to inspire even the most inexpert among us. All of nature is opportunistic, but birds are perhaps masters of experimenting with new surroundings and conditions. Their remarkable gift of flight has made it possible for them to explore and colonize areas & habitats more efficiently. Why not make them comfortable in your own backyard!
Where can I develop a bird garden?
Ideally, a large area is necessary to provide both lodging and boarding to the birds. But if you do not have space, then create a garden where they can eat, drink, rest for a while and move on. You can have a bird-friendly garden in your balcony, window sills, or in a single container! Use every inch of available space-walls, railings grills. You don’t have to rip open a new garden. Just create a microhabitat by introducing plants that are favored by birds. You may like to know how to create a butterfly garden?
Install a birdhouse in your garden to encourage small birds for nesting. An enclosure will provide them with a comfortable shelter. Small birds require shelter from predators & for breeding. You can place many beautiful birdhouses alongside hedges, dense shrubs, creepers, thorny plants, tall grasses, and multi-branched trees provide them with shelter and nesting sites.
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Local birds, local plants:
We can only invite local birds into our garden, for that we need to plant local trees and shrubs. Ficus is a keystone plant which will bring wildlife back in India due to its prolific fruiting. So why not introduce, Banyan, Peepal & Fig into surrounding landscape? The fruit of Neem & Tamarind also provides abundant food for the birds.
Basic needs of birds:
The search for water, foods & shelter, birds have same needs as us. Birds need water for nourishment as well as bathing. Create patches for birds & edge the pond with rocks. Birds require sugar syrup for energy. Mix sugar & pinch of salt with water and leave it for your winged friends.
Provide food in succession all year around by introducing various species of plants. Birds are fond of pollen, seeds, berries, insects and nectar. Large flowers like Hibiscus, Datura particularly attract large birds. Sunbirds prefer tubular or cluster flowers like Lilies, Russelia, Ixora, Pentas, etc. Arrange plants in tier formation- trees, shrubs & ground hugging plants as different species of birds feed and nest at different heights. Provide them crushed eggshells, also scatter seeds of Bajra, Jowar, Ragi for them.
If do all these little things right, even in urban areas of India Sparrows, Barbets, Robins, Fantail, Sunbirds, tailorbird, Bulbul, Golden Oriole, Cuckoo, Parakeet, Myna, spotted dove & much more will definitely visit your garden.