The one plant you need to encourage more birds into your garden – according to a wildlife photographer

Hamza Yassin shares how to turn your garden into a wildlife haven ahead of the Big Garden Bird Watch – the secret is refreshingly simple

Hamza Yassin's bird tips
(Image credit: GettyImages / Cristina Granena)

The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch begins today, January 28th – marking the start of the biggest bird survey of the year. 

The event will run from today until Sunday the 30th; however, our gardens should remain a bird sanctuary long after the festival concludes. 

This buzz around birdwatching has inevitably turned our thoughts to the importance of a wildlife garden, or more specifically, how to attract birds into a garden. And, when it comes to attracting birds, you could do far worse than following the advice of Hamza Yassin. 

The photographer, who is the cameraman on Countryfile and Animal Park, knows exactly how to welcome birds into your plot – and the secret is simple. 

How to attract birds into your garden – according to Hamza Yassin

Bird in a garden

(Image credit: GettyImages)

In an interview with Gardeningetc, Hamza recommended investing in a Buddleja Davidii – also known as a butterfly-bush, or summer lilac. 

'The bush is great for caterpillars and butterflies. If you want to attract birds, give them the food source. If you give them the food source, as well as your feeders, they will, in turn, come in,' Hamza explains. And, if you're feeding birds in winter, the principle remains the same. 

The photographer recommends letting your garden grow freely – even if it is only in a small section – as this will create a small ecosystem where the birds can thrive. 

Hamza Yassin's bird tips

Buddleja Davidii

(Image credit: GettyImages / Andrew Linscott)

'It's like the famous saying: if you build it, they will come. If you let it grow, it will attract everything,' Hamza says. 'It's like a hierarchy society; the flowers will attract the bees and insects, these, in turn, will attract the small passerine birds, which in turn attract the peregrine falcons and [those type of birds].'

If you're reluctant to let your garden grow completely wild, Hamza urges you to consider rewilding smaller sections. 'That's the best thing to do,' he adds. 

Hamza's tips will help you to create an eco-friendly garden – and help birds in the process. However, his advice doesn't end there. 

Hamza Yassin's bird tips

(Image credit: GettyImages / Irina Pislari)

Today, Hamza is presenting a one-off special of podcast Get Birding to mark the start of the Big Garden Birdwatch that explores his garden ideas in more detail. You can listen via your normal podcast streaming service.

Megan Slack

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Gardeningetc, Livingetc, and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.