10 Tips on making the most out of your bird house and bird feeder

Last Updated: 6th Dec 2023

Welcome to the enchanting world of backyard birding! This guide is crafted to help you transform your outdoor space into a thriving haven for our feathered friends. By understanding and implementing the right strategies for location, design, and maintenance, you can create a sanctuary that not only attracts a variety of birds but also ensures their well-being.

1. Selecting the Perfect Location:

  • Bird Houses: Place them in a quiet area, avoiding noisy spots near your house or street. Ensure they face away from prevailing winds for added protection. Optimal height varies, but generally, 5 to 10 feet above ground works well.
  • Bird Feeders: Visibility is key. Position them near natural shelters like bushes or trees, but not too close, as this might provide cover for predators. Keeping feeders in sight from your windows allows you to enjoy birdwatching.

2. Choosing the Right Design:

  • For Bird Houses: Different species prefer various designs. For instance, bluebirds favour houses with a round entrance about 1.5 inches in diameter. Research local bird species to cater to their specific needs.
  • For Bird Feeders: Diversity in feeder types attracts more bird species. Tube feeders are great for small birds like finches, while platform feeders suit larger birds. Remember, some species, like hummingbirds, require special feeders for nectar.

Maintenance is Crucial:

  • Bird Houses: Clean them annually to prevent parasites and diseases. The best time for cleaning is late autumn, after the breeding season.
  • Feeders: Regular cleaning, ideally weekly, prevents the spread of disease. Use a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water, rinse thoroughly, and dry before refilling.

4. Providing the Right Food:

  • Different birds have varied dietary preferences. Black oil sunflower seeds are a universal favorite. Suet is excellent in winter for high energy needs, while nectar feeders attract hummingbirds.
  • Avoid bread and other kitchen scraps as they offer little nutritional value and can harm bird health.

5. Water Sources Enhance Attraction:

  • Birds need water for drinking and bathing. A birdbath near your feeders and houses can significantly increase the variety of birds visiting your garden.
  • Ensure the water is clean and unfrozen in winter. A shallow birdbath with a rough surface for secure footing is ideal.

6. Consider Safety:

  • Position houses and feeders away from places where predators like cats can easily reach them.
  • Use baffles on poles to deter squirrels and other small mammals from accessing the feeders.

7. Creating a Natural Habitat:

  • Plant native shrubs and trees, which provide natural food and shelter.
  • Leave some areas of your garden a little wild to encourage insect life, which many bird species feed on.

8. Seasonal Considerations:

  • Adjust the type of food with the seasons. For instance, offer high-fat foods in winter and protein-rich foods during spring and summer.
  • Regularly check and maintain houses and feeders, especially after severe weather.

9. Educate Yourself and Others:

  • Learn about the birds in your area. This knowledge enhances your birdwatching experience and helps in creating a more bird-friendly garden.
  • Share your experiences and knowledge with your community. Educating others promotes a broader awareness and appreciation of birds.

10. Enjoy and Record Your Observations:

  • Keep a journal or use apps to record the types of birds visiting your garden. This can be a rewarding way to track your garden’s impact on local wildlife.
  • Remember, the primary goal is to enjoy the beauty and diversity of birds that visit your garden. Take time to observe and appreciate them.


In conclusion, establishing a bird-friendly environment is a fulfilling endeavor that brings nature right to your doorstep. By following the guidance provided, you’ll not only contribute to the welfare of birds but also enrich your own life with their presence. 

Remember, the key to success lies in thoughtful placement, suitable designs, meticulous maintenance, and appropriate food choices. As you venture into this rewarding practice, may your garden resonate with the joyful chirping and vibrant colors of a diverse bird community. Happy birding!

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