Learning how to attract birds will bring beauty and bio diversity to your yard.
It also provides a great opportunity for people of all ages to study avian behavior and habitats. The majority of birds in the United States depend on habitats that are owned and controlled by humans, so it is important we keep their needs in mind when landscaping our yards. We hope this guide will help you attract birds to your yard!
Habitat, nesting, feed and water are the four basic elements needed to make your yard a paradise for birds.
Habitat for Wild Birds
Diversity is key when establishing a desirable natural habitat for birds. Landscape your yard to have multiple heights of plant life, including trees of different heights, shrubs, flowers, shorter plants and natural ground cover. We recommend you plant native trees and plants in your yard, because they more effectively attract native birds. It is also a good idea to plant bushes and trees which provide berries and other food for the birds. Ask your local nursery staff which plants and trees attract birds in your region.
Nesting Sites for Birds
For many birds, you will provide them nesting sites by including dense hedges in your backyard habitat. Other birds prefer using a nesting box that you install. Be sure to place a variety of nesting boxes in safe locations throughout your yard. If you find that certain nesting boxes do not get used, move them to a different location. Sometime a small change in placement can make a big difference in whether or not birds will find a nesting box desirable. At the end of the season used nesting boxes should be emptied and disinfected. This is will keep possible diseases from spreading.
The fastest way to attract birds is to feed them! There are several types of bird feeders: open-shelf, gravity, suet, hummingbird and ground feeders, just to name a few. Some of the common types of bird feed include: mixed seed, thistle seed, sunflower seed and suet. Use a variety of feeder styles and types of feed in order to attract a larger variety of birds and provide them adequate nutrition.
Bird feeders should be disinfected every few weeks to stop disease from spreading. Do not place feeders right next to the house, because this can result in birds flying into windows. Feeders should also not be put in the middle of an open field, as this does not provide enough protection. It is best to place feeders about 10 feet from trees and shrubs, so the birds have enough warning to escape from predators. Last but not least, always keep the feeders full. The birds will learn to rely on your feeder!
Installing a bird bath is a great way to provide local birds hydration and a place for bathing. Water features, such as ponds and fountains, can also serve as bird baths. During the winter, a heated birdbath works well. Do not add salt to keep the water from freezing, doing so will kill the birds. No matter what time of year, make sure to keep the birdbath clean!
Follow all the tips above and your yard will be full of beautiful wild birds all year long!