Whether we think this is a good idea or bad, the fact is, that having birds in our backyards is good for our gardens. Possibly not everyone will agree with this sentiment, but evidence shows that there is more of an argument for having them there than not. Lets face it, it’s very difficult to prevent them from entering our gardens, a bit like slugs and other critters that increases our stress levels from time to time. However their presence will be very welcomed, when we look at the advantages that they can bring and also, how beneficial they can be to a vegetable garden. Setting up bird feeders for gardens is not overly difficult and once we have this task completed, we will really enjoy their company.
It is only natural to have wild birds about in a gardening envoirnment and anywhere there is a possibility that insects and other pests might be, the chances are that the birds know about these also. The fruit growers and certain vegetable growers are not best pleased with their company, but there are methods of deterring them from our berries and tomatoes, especially. Soft fruit nets are available online or at most garden centres and are really inexpensive to purchase. Its very easy to apply or place these nets over the fruit and vegetable bearing shrubs, in fact the branches of these will help to hold up the nets, so no frame building as such is required.
Many advantages of bird feeders;
Lets start with the appeal of watching birds feed at one of our feeders and look at their sheer agility as they scramble to get a hold and also deal with the competition that they have from time to time. Believe it or not there is a pecking order (pardon the pun) within the bird family and if we sit and watch them for a while it becomes clear to see who’s who in that group. That said, when the dominant bird has had their fill of nuts and seeds, the others then move in. The beauty of the mesh feeders is that most of the birds can feed simultaneously and there is never much squabbling or fighting within their group.
Important advantages of wild birds;
Pest control is a big bonus that wild birds can bring to our back gardens or raised beds and its a far better option than say, having to use chemical or insecticide sprays to eliminate these. As we know birds have terrific eyesight and can spot these tiny insects and aphids from a distance and will devour these at a glance. They also eat insects, beetles, slugs and so on, all of which are a natural food sourse for them. In their quest for garden morsels, these wild birds will also do a little digging and foraging in our garden plots or raised beds and also helps with a little aeration of our soil. They will also eat some weed seeds from time to time and in effect they are helping with our landscaping and maintenance chores.
Bird species conservation;
Without deliberately doing this exercise, we are in a sense, greatly helping in the conservation of a lot of bird species and this will be very welcomed by most commentators and especially the wild life departments in our countries. Having a strong bird population in our area is also a great sign of the air quality and as we may be aware, unfortunately, these birds are no longer populating inner cities and towns because of envoirnmental pollution, smog and vehicle exhaust emissions.
Kids educational activities;
This is another great idea for children to get involved with and is being highly recommended as a great educational activity and pastime. There are several wild bird forums online, that they could sign up to and help with monitoring and counting of certain species. They could also be assigned little jobs like ensuring the feeders are washed now and again and also help with topping up these with bird nuts and seed. Like most children of today, they more than likely have mobile phones and they could use these to take photos and images, make an online album and use the internet to identify the different bird families and species. Indeed we adults, could do worse than taking part in this exercise and along with our children benefiting from this activity, we would also learn a great deal about these wild birds.
Birdwatching as a hobby;
Watching wild birds or interacting with them, listening to birdsong and taking the time to work outdoors in our backyards or backgardens can help relieve stress and promote well-being within ourselves. Time outdoors can also ensure backyard birdwatchers have an adequate supply of fresh air and this is helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Like we mentioned above, there is a great pastime to be made by watching and photographing these wildbirds. In the springtime, we can observe their behaviour in their mating rituals, watch them building their nests and also watch them feeding their chicks. When the birds are rearing their broods, our gardens get a good going over in their ongoing search for grubs, worms and insects etc etc.
Most popular birds;
Depending on where we live these species will differ greatly. In the US and Canada, for instance, we can exect to see: sparrows, goldfinch, greenfinch, blue tits, chickadeee, cardinals, woodpeckers, robins, starlings and others like blackbirds, doves and bluejays and grackles. Whereas in Europe, we can expect to see some similar species like sparrows, robins, blackbirds, thrush, bluetits, finches, goldfinch, doves, and starlings.
Like I said at the top, wildbirds are not everyone’s cup of tea, and definitely not on some gardeners list of favourites, but that said, I think we need to accomodate and embrace them as much as we can. The costs of nuts and bird seed will not make or break us, but the joy and entertainment that they will bring will compensate and reward us for hours on end. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and if you would like to comment, please feel free to do so down below.
Happy gardening to all who try and succeed,
Cheers Phil Browne.