Having birds visiting your garden can be pretty relaxing. The sound of their chirps singing as they roam around to check all your flowers and greens is a good indicator of how well you are taking care of your garden. If you want to let them stay in your garden and make it their backyard home, then you need let them see your “welcome mat” so that they will be entice to visit your place more often and make nest above the trees in your area.
1. Have some garden plants that attract birds – Any kind of birds are attracted to gardens with fruit bearing plants. Since seed is their primary food, the usually thrive in areas were seeded plants are commonly found. Aside from that, birds also prefer eating worms, nuts, and other small insects. If you are familiar with your own plants in your garden, then you already know that these things can be well provided by your plants provided that you give them utmost care. If you’re not really familiar with these kinds of plants, then check out the Garden Guide and look for the ornamental plant that can provide these things to you.
Here are some of the plants that birds are most often drawn into:
- Trees – Birch, Hawthorn, Mountain Ash, Crab Apple, and Shubert Chokecherry
- Small Shrubs – Highbush Cranberry, Serviceberry, Pagoda, Gray Dogwood, Quince, Female Winterberry, Honeysuckle, Russian Olive, Sumac, and Elder
- Annuals – Cosmos, Sunflowers, Celosia, Marigolds, and Zinnias
- Vines – Virginia Creeper, Boston Ivy, American Bittersweet, and Wild Grape
- Perennials – Black-eyed Susan, Globe Thistle, Ornamental grasses, and Asters will provide seeds during the winter season
Berries – specifically from Fairview, IO, Female Holly, Spartan Juniper, Wintergreen, and Oregon Grape
NOTE: Some species of birds prefer Blueberries and Sweet Cherries so make sure to cover these plants with a black garden netting to prevent the berries from being eaten.
2. Install a bird feeder in your garden – Aside from having these natural food source, you can also effectively attract birds in your garden if place a bird feeder filled with seeds and nuts. There are a variety of bird feeder styles and designs you can choose to install into your property:
- Plastic feeders
- Wood Feeders
- Pole Mounted Feeders
- Hanging Feeders
- Squirrel Proof Feeders
Make sure to choose the appropriate feeder to fit all the birds that are seen in your area. Cardinals and Blue Jays don’t usually land on small bird feeders. On the other hand, tubular feeders come with small perches and small or big seed openings. If ever you see Goldfinches in your area, then you might want to consider having an ‘Upside Down’ tubular feeder because they are the only species of birds that are known to land and flip themselves in a upside down position so that they can feed from the small opening that is found below the feeder.
3. Make a bird house for them – How can the birds ‘stay’ in your garden if they don’t have a place to stay in the first place? Certain birds prefer to take shelter in bird houses so if this is provided along with their food, there’s no reason for them to go to your neighbor’s garden anymore. Birdhouses come in various sizes (including the hole’s diameter where the birds usually go in). In order to be able to get the ideal bird house for your garden, here are some tips you need to follow:
- Install the birdhouse somewhere around the tree to provide them with added shelter for the wind and rain. Aside from that, this is made to ensure that the birds are protected from any predators roaming around the area.
- Purple Martins are considered to be the largest species in the Swallow family and they love to live in groups. So if ever you find most of them in your area, be sure to get the bird house that is specially designed to meet their needs. It should be mounted on a pole and should be cleaned annually to provide shelter for a new colony. Purple Martins are great to have around because they love to eat mosquitoes (their primary source of food).
4. Provide an adequate supply of bird seed – . It is important to feed the birds all year ‘round so that they will be accustomed to come and visit your place even during the winter time. Don’t worry about if you see any bird seeds on the ground as Doves and Juncos like to feed on the leftovers of their birdie brothers.
- Birds love Sunflower seed and it’s available in 2 kinds: solid seed and the stripped seed. If you have these in their food menu, then will not mind flocking around your house for a long time especially for Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Chickadees.
- Finches love to feast on a mixture of Niger Seed and Wild Finch mixture (sold at pet stores).
- Suet Cakes – This is the primary source of food to most birds especially during winter. Chickadees, Nuthatches, and Woodpeckers love this kind of food too! You can buy a suet cage from the pet shop and make sure it fits just right for the suet cake if in case you don’t have one built inside your feeder.
5. Provide them clean water – Birds are living things so it’s pretty obvious that they need water (apart from their food) in order to survive. If your garden is far from any water source, you can install a bird bath, a small water garden in the shaded area of your lawn, or a fountain. This will give enough supply of water to drink and to use for bathing during the warm seasons of the year. Make sure to change the water every now and then to prevent the buildup of bacteria and put in fresh water (or purchase a bird bath heater) to prevent the water from freezing.
6. Provide an additional shelter for their escape. Feeding station will not only attract birds, but it will also be attractive in the preying eyes of hawks and cats. Provide dense foliage of Hemlock, Fir, Pine, and Spruce so that birds can hide in these greens in case of an attack. Not only will these plants provide them a sanctuary for bird during their escape, but it can also be their ideal nesting site during the winter season.