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Attracting Birds to Your Garden

Birds bring life, color, and song to a garden. Their presence can transform a silent backyard into a bustling hub of avian activity. But how do you make your garden a haven for birds? Here’s a guide to help you create a bird-friendly garden.

Key Takeaways:

  • Providing water year-round attracts birds.
  • Native plants offer food and shelter.
  • Avoiding insecticides helps protect bird food sources.
  • Dead trees and nesting boxes provide nesting sites.
  • Feeders supplement natural food sources.

 

Providing Water Year-Round

Birds in a garden

Water is essential for birds, not just for drinking but also for bathing. A simple birdbath can be a great start. Ensure you change the water every 2-3 days in summer and consider using a heater in winter. Place the birdbath about 10 feet from dense shrubs or other covers that predators might use.

Planting Native Plants

Native plants play a crucial role in attracting local bird species. They offer year-round food in the form of seeds, berries, nuts, and nectar. Moreover, they provide shelter and nesting sites. Aim to recreate the plant ecosystem native to your area. Evergreen trees and shrubs, if they are part of your local ecosystem, provide excellent cover throughout the year.

Avoiding Insecticides

Insects are a primary food source for many bird species. They are especially crucial for juvenile birds that need protein and fats for growth. By avoiding insecticides in your garden, you ensure a steady food supply for the birds and protect them from potential poisoning.

Keeping Dead Trees

Dead trees might seem like an eyesore, but they are valuable for cavity-dwelling birds. They offer places for birds to raise their young and are a source of insects for food. Many species also seek shelter from bad weather inside hollowed-out trees.

Installing Nesting Boxes

Nesting boxes can supplement the natural nesting sites that birds might find in your garden. Ensure they have ventilation holes at the top and drainage holes below. Avoid boxes with perches as some birds, like house sparrows, might use them to harm other nesting birds.

Building a Brush Pile

A brush pile in a corner of your yard can be a haven for some birds. Start with larger logs and top with smaller branches. Some birds will hunt, roost, or even nest in these piles.

Offering Food in Feeders

Bird feeders can be a great source of supplemental food, especially during times when natural food sources might be scarce. They also enhance bird viewing opportunities in your garden.

Removing Invasive Plants

Invasive plants can out-compete native species that birds prefer. By removing them, you ensure that your local birds have access to their preferred food sources.

Reducing Lawn Area

Lawns, especially those treated with chemicals, offer little value to birds. Consider reducing your lawn area and replacing it with native plants or a wildflower meadow.

Videos to Help You Attract Birds

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