Designing a Garden for Birds

To attract birds to your garden you need for it to become ‘desirable’, so to say. With the increase of urban infrastructure, birds are increasingly in need of natural gardens to visit. By inviting birds into your garden, you’ll turn this space into one that’s much more pleasant to spend time in. It’s going to be a calm sanctuary, full of chirping birds.

Try to look at your garden from a bird’s perspective. Does it have the things that birds need? Water, food, and shelter are a bird’s priorities.

Ideas for Food

  • Sprinkling bird seed;
  • Hanging bird feeders;
  • Plant trees and shrubs that birds are known to like in your area.

Certain trees and bushes have food that birds eat and seek out. What these trees and bushes are, will depend on where you live. Your local nursery will be able to give you guidance on what to plant.

While planting for birds, ensure you don’t plant alien vegetation. Stick to indigenous plants. And make sure you can deal with a possible large number of birds coming and feed off your plants, of course!


You can make, or buy, a birdbath

For a cost-effective solution, hang a plastic bottle or jug of water over a plate. The sounds of dripping water will draw birds to it.


  • Planting bushes or shrubs that birds can nest in;
  • Grow vines or creepers along the side of your house or on fences;
  • When planting a tree, think ahead and make sure when it is bigger it won’t have to be removed.

Deciduous Trees That Birds Are Attracted To

  • Mulberry;
  • Dogwoods;
  • Crabapples;
  • Serviceberries.

Coniferous Trees That Birds Are Drawn To

  • Red Cedar;
  • Spruces.

Scrubs and Vines That Birds Love

  • Wild grapes;
  • Northern Bay Berry;
  • Staghorn Sumac;
  • Virginia Creeper.
  • Wild Viburnums.

Also, start collecting sticks and branch cuttings from your garden and put them in a pile by the bushes. This can offer protection for birds in harsh weather such as rain. If you have a dead tree, consider keeping it and grow a creeper over it, as birds love hollowed-out trees.

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