Bird care

BirdHere in East Lothian there are a huge variety of bird species we can attract to our gardens- in a number of ways. Watching birds enjoy your garden and their behaviours can be very interesting and will bring you closer to nature- it is also a great way of getting children involved in wildlife!

Bird food and feeders

By putting bird feed in your garden you will attract a variety of birds, so you can enjoy watching their behaviour and personalities.
  • Birds visiting your garden have different feeding preferences. Some are ground feeders, while others forage from the trees, some birds like to feed in the open, while others prefer to be close to shelter.
  • You can attract a wide variety of birds to your garden by creating different feeding areas- this will also reduce competition for one area.
  • Sprinkle feed in sheltered areas to help attract more timid birds.
  • If squirrels visit your garden, its a good idea to choose feeders with metal fittings- they can gnaw through plastic fairly quickly!
  • Natural feeding provides important nutrients so try to put food in plants and grass to encourage this- by encouraging natural and supplementary feeding you will attract birds all year round.


Bird Safety

The most important thing to consider when attracting birds to enjoy your garden is their safety.
  • Try to position feed in open spaces, away from any potential hiding places for lurking cats or foxes!
  • If you have a bird table or feeder, be concious of small spaces that bird’s feet could get trapped and sharp edges that could injure them.


Bird tables

A bird table is a great way to feed birds all year round.

  • To help attract birds, choose a quiet spot that is sheltered from weather for your bird table.
  • The birds will learn this is a safe and convenient place to find food and visit regularly.

Bird baths

Birds require water for drinking and bathing, the easiest way to provide them is with a bird bath.
  •  A water supply is especially important in the winter months when natural water sources may be frozen, and in summer months when it may be dry (not such an issue in East Lothian!).
  • The water in your bird bath should be 2-10cm deep to allow the different species to use it.


Nestboxes are a great way to attract more vulnerable birds who really need your help, such as house sparrows and starlings- the numbers of these birds have declined in the last few years.
  • Nestboxes are great for small hole-nesting birds to nest and eat. A variety of birds use nestboxes and they can attract different species to your garden.
  • Position the nestbox so the birds have a clear line of flight to it, slightly down and to the north east to avoid the strongest sunlight and rain from getting into the box.
  • The box can be fixed to a wall or tree, the height from the ground is up to you, as long as it is out of reach of inquisitive humans and any predators. If fixing to a tree, use something like old hose to attach to avoid any damage to the tree.
  • You can have a number of nestboxes aimed to attract different birds, spread them our through your garden to avoid competition.


We look forward to hearing about all the wonderful birds you will see in your garden!


We would be delighted if you would like to share any photos of your bird sighting with us to pop on our website and inspire others.