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  • Writer's pictureSofias Country Gardens

Strictly for the birds

A woodpecker visiting the feeding station

One of the great joys of being in the country is observing the wildlife, and I have a never ending fascination with how interlaced the whole ecosystem is. I find that encouraging biodiversity in my gardens reduces the need for pesticides and invasive control systems, as it mostly evens itself out. I am for example often asked how come I don't have a snail problem, which I by all accounts should have with the amount of lovely tasty plants and vegetables there are. I believe it is because I encourage all sorts of visitors to my garden, so although I do have snails and slugs their population is kept down by frogs, toads, lizards and birds. The birds especially are a great help to me; they also eat all manner of insects.

Painting nest boxes

In order to encourage more birds in my garden I resolved to make it more habitable, and add new bird boxes each year. Birds don't really mind what colour their homes are, but I do, so I painted all the bird boxes in uniform light grey eco-friendly paint.

Being a clumsy kind of person I made sure to cover my dining table with plenty of newspaper, but I still managed to drop paint all over the place. Good thing it was a water-soluble kind and easy to wash of! I also got some smaller nest boxes for smaller bird. Of these I put one up on the sauna wall, and to my surprise it had barely been up for a day before a sweet little white wagtail (Montacilla alba) moved into it!

Smaller birds got smaller boxes, this one on the sauna

Nest boxes should be placed facing north or east to avoid strong sunlight and the wettest winds. For tits, sparrows and starlings they should be placed between two to four meters above ground, so I placed my boxes all around the garden at different hight. Or rather, my very agile friend Hanna did, climbing high up into the trees, while I shouted good advice from down below!

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