It’s amazing how many birds you can attract to your garden if you invite them with the right plants and shelter to meet their survival needs. But wild birds are more than just pretty feathered friends to attract – they bring beautiful songs and efficient pest control to your garden as well! This makes attracting birds a win-win situation for any gardener. But how can you fine tune your garden to be a backyard bird sanctuary?
Bring Birds with Berries
Many birds eat a variety of berries, and often rely on juicy berries during fall migration and in winter when other foods may be scarce. Berry bushes can be fine ornamental plants, beautiful borders and even container favorites. Bring birds to the backyard by planting as many of these berry-producing shrubs as possible:
- Barberry (Berberis)
- Bearberry (Arctostaphylos)
- Beautyberry (Callicarpa)
- Chokeberry (Aronica)
- Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster)
- Firethorn (Pyracantha)
- Holly (Ilex)
- Oregon Grape Holly (Mahonia)
- Privet (Ligustrum)
- Rose (Rosa)
- Crabapple (Malus)
- Viburnum (Viburnum)
When you have these tasty treats in your yard, birds such as robins, thrushes, waxwings, thrashers and grouse will enjoy the berry bounty.
Seduce Birds with Seeds
Many birds positively adore seeds, and seeds are the perfect autumn food. Many flowers will even drop their seeds and naturally grow more plants for an even bigger seed harvest the next year. Seduce seed-loving birds by filling your garden with their favorites:
- Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
- Columbine (Aquilegia)
- Foxglove (Digitalis)
- Globe Thistle (Echinops)
- Goldenrod (Solidago)
- Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)
- Sunflower (Helianthus)
- Tickseed (Coreopsis)
The top seed-seekers in your backyard will include sparrows, finches, quail and doves, and many other types of birds may also take a nibble at different seeds.
Finding a Spot for Your Feeders
While birds will enjoy the natural foods they find in your backyard, they will also readily take to feeders. When birds visit feeders, you can see them up close, take great photos and learn even more about what species are visiting. To better attract many different birds with feeders:
- Use different feeders and scatter them throughout your garden. Different birds have different feeding preferences, so choose different feeder types and sizes to attract more bird species.
- Place feeders in a protected area away from strong winds. Most birds will prefer a sunny location with better visibility as they watch for any threats. Be sure feeders are hung securely so they do not tip, swing or fall.
- Birds have many predators, including your cat. Place your feeder within 5-10 feet of protective cover so birds can seek shelter if needed, and keep cats indoors or supervise them when outside so birds are not at risk.
- Don’t forget to add a bird bath for drinking and bathing, as well as a bird house or two to tempt nesting birds to raise their families nearby.
With just a little work to plan your landscaping for birds as well as offering the best possible foods and feeders, you can easily attract new and exciting birds to your garden.