Bird feeders are killing birds, biologist warns as populations see 'catastrophic decline'

Professor Lees appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning to give viewers tips on how to increase biodiversity in the garden. The biologist stressed that there is more you can do to attract birds and other wildlife in your garden apart from putting up bird feeders.

Professor Lees said: “The marsh tit population has crashed, along with willow tit populations, because we may be giving a leg up to blue tits which compete with the marsh tits and the willow tits, which is then hurting the marsh tit populations.”

However, the biologist highlighted that the main goal of wildlife conservationists is to “maximise biodiversity” and not “favour one species over another”.

He therefore recommended doing more to your garden to attract wildlife and birds than just putting up bird feeders.

Professor Lees said: “To understand where we should be feeding and how and why, we do need more science to underpin that but, you know, the obvious thing to do to increase biodiversity in your garden isn’t just putting a feeder up.

Birds like to shelter in bushes and hedges, and so having those in your garden will bring various species in.

Good ones to opt for include blossom and berry hedges, such as rowan, crab apple, elder, blackthorn, and hawthorn, which provide food for birds.

Another handy tip to attract wildlife is to provide water for them.

You can do this by installing a pond in your garden.