Preparing your garden and bird feeders for spring
With the gradual emergence of the snowdrops and daffodils, the transformation from winter to spring is well underway. And for avid gardeners and birdwatchers alike, there’s no better time to start sprucing up the garden in preparation for those feathered springtime arrivals.
While many birds migrate from the north to the UK for winter where the weather is milder and food is easier to find, others from the south will arrive in the springtime to breed. This transition is the ideal time to stock up on supplies and get your garden in ship shape ready for your new residents.
Clean all feeding stations
Feeding birds can be a dirty job, and after winter all bird feeding stations and areas will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Thick carpets of seeds, shells and bird mess are likely to line the floor beneath bird seed feeders which can be breeding grounds for bacteria and cause sickness if consumed by animals. Uneaten seeds may also begin to sprout and attract undesirable pests. Use a trowel or rake to remove the material, and remember to wear protective clothing in cases of large quantities of bird droppings.
Clean out old feeders
In order to provide fresh seeds, it is vital that you practice good hygiene and clean out all bird seed feeders in your garden. Remove old food, and scour each feeder using a 5% disinfectant solution. Clean bird feeders outdoors using separate cleaning utensils and wearing protective gloves, and hang the feeders up to dry before refilling.
Provide fresh water sources
All birds arriving in your garden for spring will need fresh water, and will continue to rely on your water supply if they stay in the area. Make sure that water containers are washed daily, and that bird baths are kept free of bird droppings.
Experiment with new feeders
New bird feeders may help attract different birds to your garden. Perky-Pet® Easy Fill Deluxe Feeder is a unique triple-tube feeder that not only attracts and feeds wild birds, but is also a breeze to clean. Our Birdscapes® Copper Festival Feeder is also simple to monitor and clean, and can offer multiple seeds and mixes in its clear, shatter-proof plastic reservoir - perfect for allowing a variety of birds to stop by.
Inspect old nests
If you have old nests that survived the winter and are still intact in your garden, they could be reused by birds looking to nest this spring. However, if they’re in bothersome locations, now is the time to remove them or try relocating them to more favourable places.
Provide more perching spaces
If your garden is relatively young, it is likely to lack perching spaces for birds who will use them to rest and sleep, and also keep a watchful eye for predators. Trees and shrubs can provide ample space for your feathered friends, but if you are unable to plant in your garden, hanging perchers can be fixed to walls or sheds.
Construct new nest boxes
With over 60 species known to have used nest boxes in the UK alone, nest boxes are superb substitutes for holes in trees and can be bought or constructed at a relatively low cost. Birds are fussy nesters, and the success of your nest box will depend on its location and surroundings. For expert information on nest boxes, visit the RSPB’s website.
Safeguard your property
As your previous tenants move on and the new birds move in, it’s essential to consider your property as well as your garden. Known for nesting in potting sheds, porches, patios and roofs, birds are often attracted to small nooks and crannies. Inspect your property extensively and fill holes, gaps, and crevices to stop them entering your home as well as your garden and consider putting up nest boxes to replace lost nesting places.