An astonishing number of animal species can live in our gardens and find food there. By taking a few simple measures, you can easily turn your garden into a personal nature reserve.


Blackbirds, hawfinches and robins eat mostly blackberry, elderberry and hawthorn berries. Starlings, greenfinches and siskins, on the other hand, prefer rosehip berries.

While linnets, red-backed shrikes and chaffinches breed in the upper areas of shrubs, robins, wrens and chiffchaffs prefer the lower areas and the interior of groves. You can promote the breeding success of burrow-nesting birds such as tits or nuthatches by installing birdhouses.


Bats native to Germany, such as the mouse-eared bat (genus Myotis), like to eat beetles, while the long-eared bat (genus Plecotus) prefers to hunt moths. Soprano pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pygmaeus), however, prefer mosquitoes – up to 1,000 in a single night! Special bat boxes can provide a shelter for these nocturnal flight artists. So-called “flat boxes” are suitable for crevice-inhabiting species, while “space boxes” are better for species that burrow in trees.

Wild bees & Co.

Plants such as the wild rose, aster, and butterfly bush offer wild bees and butterflies plenty of nectar.

In addition to honey bees, also bumblebees and other wild bees pollinate our crops, thus making a significant contribution to our food supply. Many wild bees like to nest in insect or bumblebee boxes. These nesting aids should be carefully constructed.

Hedgehogs & Co.

Hedgehogs eat mainly insects, their larvae and earthworms. They also eat smaller amounts of vertebrates, carrion, fruits and roots. You can provide bottom-dwelling animals, such as hedgehogs and toads, a shelter with mounds of dead wood, stones, twigs or leaves. Other animals like beetles, shrews or lizards are also often found there.

Amt für Umweltschutz-Umweltinformationszentrum (UiZ)

Thanks to their structural diversity, cities are home to a considerable diversity of species. The Centre for Environmental Information (UiZ) of the city of Leipzig provides free informational material, such as instructions for building a bird nesting box, puzzles and quizzes on the subject of bees, the brochure “LEIPZIGNATOUR Facade Greening” (green facades are a popular habitat for many birds and insects) and flyers about roof gardens. Learn more at

Photos by Tilo Arnold:

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