Birds are a natural and beautiful addition to any garden. They provide an endless all-year-round cheer and are a wonderful way to enhance your landscape.
To attract birds, your garden must offer a variety of food, water and shelter. To do this, you’ll want to mimic the natural environments where your local birds thrive.
Plant a Variety of Plants
To attract a wide variety of birds, gardeners must plant a diversity of plants. This includes species that bloom at different times of the year.
A variety of trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses provide birds with food, nesting places, water and a home for native insects. Use local and regional types of tree and shrub species that birds are familiar with.
In addition, plants with large fruits and berries are attractive to many birds. For example, wild grape vines are a favorite for songbirds.
Birds also appreciate the seeds that many annual flowers produce. These include black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia species), goldenrod, and sunflowers.
A variety of bird feeders is another essential ingredient for attracting many species of birds. Fill these with a mix of seeds, nuts and other bird foods.
Provide a Variety of Feeders
If you want to create a garden that attracts birds, one of the most important things you can do is provide a variety of feeders. These can come in different shapes, sizes, and styles, each of which catches the attention of different types of birds.
Birds find their food by sight, so it’s essential to position your bird feeders so they are visible to them. Also, try sprinkling a little seed on the ground or near the feeder to attract more birds to it.
Once you have the right feeders, choose the type of seeds and nut mix that best appeals to your local birds. For example, black-oil sunflower seeds are an all-around favorite that offers birds a high amount of protein and fat.
Suet feeders are another popular choice, attracting a variety of species like woodpeckers and nuthatches. Suet is a great source of protein and helps to keep birds warm in winter.
Create a Water Feature
Water is one of the most important factors for attracting wildlife to a garden. Birds, insects, small mammals, and amphibians all depend on water for their basic needs.
When choosing a water feature for your yard, choose one that will meet these needs in a variety of ways. You may wish to consider a waterfall, stream or pond.
You can create a water feature that provides both a source of water for birds and a place for them to enjoy the sound of running water. A simple recirculating urn or a larger pond and waterfall are both great options.
Besides providing drinking and bathing water, a water feature will also provide shelter for birds. Make sure to site a birdbath or other water feature in a shady area, near cover such as trees and bushes and away from pets that could attack the birds.
Create a Nesting Area
Birds are an invaluable part of the ecosystem, helping rid our lawns of weeds, eat pesky pests and provide flower pollination. You can attract birds to your garden by creating a safe, warm and inviting environment that offers food, shelter and water throughout the year.
Providing a variety of plant choices is one of the most important factors in attracting birds to your yard. Choose native plants that grow naturally in your area.
Planting trees, shrubs and flowers that bloom in different seasons will ensure that your garden is always a source of food for birds. Fruit-bearing plants such as wild grapes are a popular choice for attracting songbirds to your garden.
You can create a nesting area in your garden by building hollowed tree logs or brush piles for various species of birds. These are natural cavities that provide safe and dry nesting sites, shelter from bad weather and a place to collect insects.