How To Attract Wild Birds To Your Backyard – Wild Bird Store Online
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Attracting Wild Birds

Posted by Wild Bird Store Online on

Backyard Landscaping Tips (Create a bird-friendly environment):

birdie with nesting material

With thought and planning, it's easy to create an environment to attract a variety of birds you'll enjoy year-round.

  • Feed them well.
  • Grow plants native to your region, especially nectar-producing and seed- and berry-bearing plants. These plants will provide a suitable selection of food sources that appeal to a variety of birds.
  • Incorporate tree stumps, and decaying logs into your design to add rustic charm and provide food for insect-loving birds. Be sure to leave dying trees where they are because their natural 5cavities make ideal nesting sites for some varieties of birds.
  • Supplement birds' natural diets by filling multiple bird feeders and placing them throughout your yard.   
  • Keep them safe and warm by providing nest boxes.   
  • Plant vines along with different varieties of shrubs and trees to provide shelter at varying heights.
  • Provide evergreens in your landscape for shelter, protection from predators and safe nesting.
  • Surround your yard with a variety of densely planted deciduous trees and shrubs for year-round food source   
  • Provide water.   
  • Place a birdbath in a safe spot in the yard.
  • In seasonal, colder climates, use a heated birdbath or heat your water with a bird bath heater, ice-free water is more important to wild birds than food.   
  • Add a bubbler or fountain - moving water is irresistible to birds.

Types of Feeders   

Hopper feeders

Can be mounted or hung on a free-standing pole. A hopper feeder has four walls and a top that protects food from the elements. Larger hopper feeders hold a greater amount of seed and, therefore, require less refilling. Hopper feeders attract birds such as Blue Jays, Nuthatches and Woodpeckers and other feeder-birds.

Platform feeders

Can be hung or mounted. A platform or tray feeder is usually a flat feeder in which food can be spread across an open surface. Platform feeders often have a roof to help keep food dry. Find one that has drain holes to keep water out. A platform feeder is the easiest feeder to fill and can attract Cardinals, Black-Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice. When you place them close to the ground they will also attract ground-feeding birds.   

Tube feeders

Are always hung. A tube feeder is cylindrical feeder that has several ports with perches. It is the size of these ports and the perches that determines the type of food and the birds that will visit. The tube feeder will attract birds such as Goldfinches, House Finches and Purple Finches. If you choose a larger perch tube feeder, you will usually attract a greater variety of birds.   

Locating Feeders 

By spacing different types of feeders in several locations around your yard, you can attract a wide variety of wild birds. It takes time for birds to recognize something new in their environment so don't get discouraged early on.

Place feeders where birds can easily see them since most birds find food by sight, rather than smell.

Put feeders in quiet areas, but make sure they're located where you can see them, such as a kitchen, dining or living room window.

Choose a convenient location so it's easy for you to refill no matter what the weather.

Position feeders close to the shelter of trees and shrubs so birds have a place to wait their turn. But not too close, otherwise predators will have a better chance to stalk your feathered friends.

Vary the height of your feeders to accommodate the feeding preferences of different species.

Provide Shelter - Bird House Placement

The best spot for your bird house is the one that provides the birds safe shelter to raise their young, while giving you hours of enjoyment watching them grow. 

Place your bird house near a tree or bush to allow parent birds to perch and survey the area, making sure it’s safe to move in.
Don’t locate your bird houses near bird feeders. Food attracts predators so the house and the feeder should always be placed far apart.
Face your bird house away from the prevailing winds.
If possible, mount your bird house on a metal pole. Mounted bird houses are less vulnerable to predators.
Don’t face the entrance hole of your bird house south or west to avoid overheating. Face the bird house entrance hole to the north or the east.

Provide natural shelter- Trees, Shrubs and Plants

Birds use trees, shrubs and plants to hide from both the elements and their natural predators, as well as to roost.

 

  • White pine, arborvitae, spruce, juniper, cedar, holly and other broadleaf and needle evergreens provide essential protection from predators and winter weather as well as food.
  • Hedges of serviceberry or viburnum provide food, shelter and nesting spots.
  • Conifers such as cedar provide warmth, hiding places and places to nest.
  • A brush pile of pruned or fallen branches in a corner of the yard or against a hedge creates an instant, bird-friendly shelter or pile old shrubbery branches or logs on the ground to provide additional shelter on cold winter night
  • Provide plantings for natural foods.
  • Plant and grow plants that bloom and produce fruit, seeds or nuts in addition to placing feeders to attract even more birds to your yard.
  • Try to use plants that are native to your area. A local nursery or agricultural extension agency can help you discover which plants will survive and grow best.
  • Many perennials, grasses, vines, shrubs and trees provide food for birds:

 

Grasses for seed - Big Bluestem, Buffalo grass, Gama Grass, Little Bluestem, Prairie Dropseed

Perennials - Black-Eyed Susan, Blazing Star, Common Evening Primrose, Coneflower, Fireweed, Helianthus, Phlox, Strawberry, Sunflower

Shrubs and Trees - American Elderberry, Black Cherry, Chokecherry, Crabapple (flowers, fruit and seeds attractive to many species), Dogwood,     
Mulberry, Northern Bayberry, Raspberry, Serviceberry, Viburnum (red, yellow, blue or black berries)

Vines - Virginia Creeper, Wild Grape

By following these tips to creating a bird-friendly environment, you will be able to attract a variety of birds that will return time after time and season after season for your continued enjoyment.   

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