For those of you lucky enough to have a garden or even a small patch of outdoor space, hanging a birdfeeder from a post or tree is a fantastic way of helping local birds survive during the winter months, but it also provides you with a great opportunity to dust off your birdwatching binoculars, and get birding from the comfort of home!
To help you know which birds are flitting to and from your garden birdfeeder, here are some of the most commonly seen garden birds:
With its grey cap and beautifully rich brown feathers, the male house sparrow is commonly found in gardens throughout the UK, but less so than they used to be. To help attract them to your garden and rejuvenate their numbers, feed them peanuts and mixtures of small seeds, like millet.
With the incredible ability to mimic commonly heard sounds, starlings have black plumage with a green tint that shimmers, and white specks dotted throughout. To encourage them to increase in numbers (as although still commonly found, their numbers have decreased in recent years) and visit your garden, feed them anything from fruit and peanuts to mealworms – they’re generally not fussy!
Boasting a beautiful blue cap and breast that glows yellow, these colourful little birds love nothing more than a juicy fat ball, but they are prone to getting their feet caught up in the mesh, so its best to remove the balls from the bags before putting them in your feeder or on a bird table.
These frequent visitors to UK gardens are most often seen hopping around underneath bird tables and feeders, pecking at the food that’s dropped down. With their black plumage and beaks of bright yellow, they’re easy to recognize.
Stunning birds, goldfinches provide a real visual delight when viewed through a Celestron Hummingbird spotting scope, although a simple pair of binoculars would be good enough. Faces of red, golden backs and with distinct flashes of bright yellow on their wings, they enjoy pecking away at black niger seeds and sunflower hearts, but in their natural habitat, they can often be seen taking the seeds from dandelions and thistles with their fine beaks.
Often seen hopping around beneath bird tables and hedges, these are sparrow-sized, but the males have a pink breast and crown of a bluish-grey colour. Very common, they’re easy to spot but always a delight.
The biggest of the UKs tits, they look like a blue tit, but are easy to tell apart from them thanks to their white cheeks and black crown. Greedy and aggressive when feeding, they’ll happily deplete your seed stocks within minutes!
With its distinctive red breast and white belly, the robin is a much loved favourite for UK citizens, and can often be seen gracing gardens with its pretty presence. Highly territorial, often curious and less timid than some other garden birds, they are always a joy to see.
With their fluffy feathers of a pinkish-grey colour, rotund little body, elongated tail and teeny bill, these are arguably among the cutest of all UK garden birds! While they tend not to hang around for long at feeders and bird tables, they do enjoy eating peanuts and fat balls.
Which of these garden birds have you already spotted, and which have you yet to see?
Watching birds in your garden can be a wonderful pastime, and a simple and affordable introduction to the world of birdwatching.
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