How to Bring Birds to Your Yard

How to Bring Birds to Your Yard

Birdwatching is a practice that dates back to time immemorial, with descriptions of the practice (and of beautiful birds) going back to the earliest written sources. So if you want to create a bird haven in your backyard, you’ll be in good (and historical) company. Birding, or birdwatching, is a great family activity as well—and a great way to teach and learn about the natural world. Here are a few tips you can use to attract birds to your yard.

Build a Bird-Friendly Zone

If you build it...they will come. Birds love bird homes, typically those with multiple stories and angles—they love to chill on perches to preen their feathers. They also like green thickets for hiding in, large branches for bickering and singing, and open areas to see and be seen. Some species also like indoor areas, similar to the inside of a tree trunk or tree knot.

Also, big surprise, birds also love trees and foliage. Try and plant small trees, native shrubs, perennials, and tall grasses to give them a place to hang out, pollinate, and do their bird activities. They also like evergreen and deciduous trees, which can help to shade your yard and increase the privacy on your property.

Add Birdseed to Your Yard, or Grow Your Own

You’re most likely familiar with birdseed feeders, water areas, and pollination feeders that can attract birds, bees, and other airborne critters. But did you know that you can grow your own birdseed in your yard, creating a renewable, essentially free way to feed your bird friends without having to fill up the birdseed feeder every week? There are many types of plants, grasses, perennial and annual flowers, and other potential garden additions.

What birds like best will differ by region, but popular choices include blanketflower, beautyberry, coneflower, sunflowers, and asters. Hummingbirds and bees love cardinal flowers and trumpet honeysuckle, while birds of all sizes love native oaks, sumac, cedars, spruces, dogwoods, hollies, and almost any nut tree or berry bush.

Leave the Leaves

While your inner "Mr. Clean" may be screaming at you to get rid of all excess foliage, leaves, and branches in your yard, this might not be the best thing to do if you want to attract lots of avian friends. Maintaining a somewhat messy yard will help to attract all sorts of flying friends, from bees and insects to your favorite birds. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean leave a huge mess—but maybe don’t “bee” so heavy with the weed whacker or trimmer during the Spring or whenever you’re trying to entice birds to visit your garden.

Article courtesy of Coldwell Banker Hearthside

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