Encouraging birds into the garden might seem like an unusual gardening activity. However, most gardeners recognise the value of visiting birds in controlling insect pests. The local bird population also acts as an environmental barometer for the garden’s ecological wellbeing. A garden with birds visiting is generally a healthy garden.
Providing food and water for birds in the winter is a good thing to do. With un-seasonal weather conditions now becoming common, providing a constant steady supply of food enables local bird populations to manage sudden cold spells, heavy rains and extreme temperatures throughout the year.
There are over 400 species of bird common in Belgium, including some lesser common species such as the Redstart. The Redstart is an occasional visitor along with Woodpeckers which pass through the garden once or twice a year. It can be surprising what birdlife uses the city gardens in Brussels (see list below).
The daily visitors to the garden include a range of Tits, Blackbirds, Jays, Wood Pigeons and Magpies. This resident population are the main gardeners consuming large quantities of insect pests. By providing a safe feeding area in the garden these workers turn up every day.
Bird watching is a fun activity for all the family. By providing food in the garden local birds settle to the garden and turn up at regular times each day. The Belgium organisation Natagora works with the conservation and monitoring of local bird populations. They have regular bird spotting days where gardeners report the birds visiting.
Birds of Brussels