Birds are the gardeners friends although sometimes I'm not so sure that they are my friends when they wake me up with their morning chorus at 4.30, which for me is a tad on the early side. But on the whole I adore them and can't imagine my garden without them.
To ensure that my garden is never without a bird or two, I lure the birds into my garden by providing them with all kinds of food.
My walnut tree is full of bird feeders and offers bird food such as mixed seeds, peanuts, blocks of lard stuffed with fruits and insects, bread crumbs, apples, carrots, raisins and sunflower seeds, to name but a few.
By putting out bread crumbs I caught a very special kind of bird in my garden; little Kadootje who's now an indoor kitty and has access to much better food than dry bread crumbs I'm happy to say.
My garden also provides our feathered friends with all kinds of insects such a aphids, slugs and snails. Here you see my roses being very obliging in the aphids department. The Blue tits love to stuff their little faces with aphids so I don't spray my roses but let the birdies and the ladybirds do the work for me. So much more environmental friendly, don't you think? And less work for me, of course!
My garden is also rather forthcoming with slugs and snails which the birds appreciate I'm sure, although I'm less than happy about those creepy crawlies. The Thrushes love snails and have a special way of eating them.
First they firmly grab them in their beak and then slam them hard against a rock, stone or a concrete paver until the shell cracks open and they can have their delicious hors d'oeuvre of escargot on the rocks. Bon appetit!
I also grow shrubs and trees to provide food for the birds such as honeysuckle, elderberry and amelanchier because the birds love to feast on their berries and I enjoy watching their antics.
Apart from food, the birds also need water so everyday I make sure that there is plenty of clean drinking water for the birds. I see many birds in my garden that come to drink daily and also use the water for something else ............ bathing!
Every day around 4.30 in the afternoon Mr Blackbird comes to take his bath. It is such fun to watch him bathe, he's such a little show off.
It's good to have large shrubs, trees and hedges in the garden as they provide safe places for the birds to rest or nest in, well away from cats and other predators.
A few nest boxes have also been put up for various bird species. Here's one for the Blue Tits,
and here is one for the Wren to either nest in or to keep warm in winter.
There is also an apartment block for Sparrows as they like to nest together in little groups.
Every bird has its own housing requirements. Here's a very special one that somebody else put up for the Stork.
They do need a safe place to rest and nest. It is hard work delivering babies at all hours of the day and night, you know!
Last week the young black birds had left the nest and were taking flying lessons in my garden. To make sure that they didn't meet with a sticky end, my kitties stayed inside until all birds got their flying certificates.
Dolly was not amused!
There are many birds to be found at Bliss: Robins, Sparrows, Starlings, Doves, Turtle Doves, Finches, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Blue Tits, Magpies and even a very unusual kind of Bluebird as you can see here.
They're like magic, don't you think? :-)
Wise men store up knowledge, and learn many truths from a garden. Maureen Gilmer