If you enjoy watching birds, or you have a feline companion who loves stalking them from the window, then attracting birds to your yard may be beneficial for the both of you. Fortunately there are many different ways you can attract a variety of different birds to your yard. Here are a few tips to help you out.
One of the easiest ways to attract birds to your yard is to provide a few bird feeders. There are all kinds of different types of bird feeders on the market today. Some are simple dishes that hang, others can be staked into the ground or nailed to a tree, and some bird feeders even have perches for the birds to sit on while they eat. Your local department or gardening store should have plenty of designs to choose from. When it comes to feeding birds, the type of bird seeds you place in the feeder will attract different kinds of birds. The most common type of seed preferred by a number of different birds, however, is black oil sunflower seed. Many cardinals, chickadees, finches, sparrows, and even some woodpeckers enjoy this seed. Many commercially sold bird seeds include this seed along with a variety of different seeds birds enjoy. A bag of bird seed can usually be bought at your local department or gardening store, or can even be bought in bulk larger quantities online and typically costs anywhere from $8-150. Other types of foods you might try using in your feeder to attract birds include cracked corn, hulled sunflower seeds, fruit, mealworms, millet, milo, nyjer, oats, peanut hearts, and peanuts. Most commercial bought bird seed will list right on the bag what types of birds it attracts, so pay attention to this part when choosing your bird feed if there is a specific type of bird you would like to try and attract.
Another great way to attract birds to your yard is to invest in or make your own birdbath. Many birds are attracted to water just as they are to feeders since they need water for drinking and bathing. Providing them with a birdbath is a great way to meet this need. Many birdbaths can be purchased at your local home and garden store, or simply using dishes or shallow pans will also suffice. Many birds prefer birdbaths that are at ground level, but some will still be attracted to raised baths as well. Creating a shallow pond with a fountain is another great way to attract birds to your yard, since they are attracted to the sound of dripping or moving water. Water should be no more than an inch deep, and should be cleaned out daily to prevent algae. It is also important to consider where you place your birdbath, as close to a tree or bush might not be the best idea, since many predators can lurk here and then jump out at the birds. We bought our birdbath at Lowes last year for about $30, and it has worked great for attracting a variety of different species to our yard.
Whether you buy a birdhouse from the store, or build your own at home, this is another great way to bring birds to your yard. Many birds will enjoy using the shelter to build their nests and lay eggs in. Something to consider when building or placing birdhouses or nesting boxes is that different holes, shapes, and orientations, will attract different species. So you might want to try a variety of different birdhouses throughout your yard.
Providing birds with nesting materials is a great way to attract birds to your yard, and its also fun to watch as they take the items away to build a nest. Pieces of yarn, string, straw, human or pet hair, small bits of cloth, and other items, all make great nesting materials for birds.
Trees, Plants, & Shrubs
Planting native trees, plants, and shrubs, in your yard is another way to attract a variety of different birds to your yard. You can use a local field guide or ask around to see what grows naturally in your region. Birds will love perching in the branches of the trees you plant, eating from the many plant’s fruits, seeds, and berries, and building nests in shrubs.