The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, the world’s biggest wildlife survey, returns on January 29th – 31st and we have some great ideas for you to get your gardens ready for our feathered friends. More than half a million people across the UK are expected to watch and count their garden birds over the weekend and it’s a great family activity to get involved in and get children engaged with nature.
If you’re looking for something to keep the kids busy during lockdown, or perhaps you’re a wildlife lover yourself, our handy guide on how to make your own birdhouse will bring birds flocking to your garden.
What you’ll need
- Terracotta pot – we recommend an 8in diameter minimum for the garden birds. making our Orson Cylinder Terracotta Pot ideal.
- Plywood or craft wood
- Wood saw
- Large outdoor screws and washer
- Outdoor acrylic coloured paint
- Wood preserve
- Drill with 1- 1 ½ inch hole-boring drill bit to make opening for the birds.
- Trace the top of your pot onto your wood to make a then cut it along the inside of the circle with a saw, so it fits along the inside rim of your pot.
- Lightly sand the edges of your wooden circle.
- Use your drill to create your bird hole in the plywood – ideal size is approximately 1 ½ inches.
- Paint your pot! We recommend using white chalk paint first on the terracotta as a base, before your creativity takes over. Why not try contemporary stripes for an urban garden, a floral design for a cottage garden or a rainbow for a sensory garden?
- Paint the wooden entrance with a wood preserve so it is weather protected.
- Hang in your garden in fence posts, trees or walls. Place a washer inside the pot and screw through the drainage hole.
- Place the circle into the inside of your pot so it fits snugly.
- Sit back and watch the garden birds nesting in their new home.
At this time of year, it is important to support the avian visitors in your garden as they seek food and water. To keep them happy and healthy, high-energy, nutritious and tasty bird foods will go down a treat. Sunflower hearts, nyjer seed, suet fat balls and mealworms can all help to draw different birds to visit our gardens. We have an online guide on how to make your own bird feeders and treats to entice birds to your garden.
Clean drinking water should always be on hand, though, especially during the winter months. Sources of water can become frozen over, so your bird bath will become a haven. Birds bathe year-round, even in winter, to clean their feathers and remove bacteria that may cause disease. Our Ancient Collection Salt Glaze Bird Bath has a detachable top which helps our birds at all times of year.
Make sure you check the water regularly, breaking through and removing pieces of ice before re-filling with clean, fresh water. To prevent freezing, place a table tennis ball on the surface.
By following these tips, you'll be able to encourage a thriving population of garden birds to visit, from sparrows to woodpeckers, bringing your outdoors to life with song and colour.