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Our Mission
SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
Home  > How to help > Green tips > Garden birds
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Garden birds
Birds in my garden

The  birds which daily visit our gardens, even in big cities centres, find there a suitable habitat, where they can satisfy their needs in terms of food, shelter, nesting sites and space, and where they are safe from most predators. There are some measures that you can take to make gardens, backyards and balconies more attractive for birds and other animals:

  • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides;
  • Provide food, especially in severe winters;
  • Provide water in drinkers or bowls, where birds can drink and bath during hot days;
  • Never remove or damage swallows nests. If you don’t want them, try instead to discourage them from nesting in the same places before their arrival, by placing plastic strips or thin ropes along the eaves;
  • Build cavities in the roof, where birds like sparrows and swifts can get in and nest;
  • Place nest boxes in less exposed sites, preferentially selecting simpler models made of natural materials such as wood and cork. You can find some models in SPEA shop;
  • Avoid pruning trees, hedges and bushes during spring;
  • Increase vegetation diversity by planting different fines herbs, intense-flowering plants or plants that produce fruits and seeds, fruit trees and bushes. Always avoid potentially invasive species, like the sweet pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum);
  • Increase the structural diversity of your garden, by keeping areas of spontaneous vegetation or non-cut vegetation among the grass and by alternating between clearings and areas with dense vegetation.

List of species commonly observed in our gardens:
White Wagtail – Motacilla alba
Common House Martin – Delichon urbica
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Pallid Swift – Apus pallidus
Common Swift – Apus apus
Eurasian Wren – Troglodytes troglodytes
European Serin – Serinus serinus
Blue Tit – Parus caeruleus
Coal Tit – Parus ater
Great Tit – Parus major
Common Firecrest – Regulus ignicapilla
Spotless Starling – Sturnus unicolor
Common Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita
Eurasian Jay – Garrulus glandarius
Common Blackbird – Turdus merula
House Sparrow – Passer domesticus
Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos major
European Goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis
European Robin – Erithacus rubecula
Black Redstart – Phoenicurus ochruros
Eurasian Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
Common Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs
Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Short-toed Treecreeper – Certhia brachydactyla
European Greenfich – Carduelis chloris

Exotic species:
Crested Myna – Acridotheres cristatellus
Rose-ringed Parakeet – Psittacula krameri

Night birds:
Tawny Owl – Strix aluco 
Barn Owl – Tyto alba
Little Owl – Athene noctua

Pictures: Melro © José Viana
Text: © Filipa Machado e SPEA
Translation: Rafael Galupa





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