Spring is here which means it is the season of birds. Many species migrate back to their breeding homes, and you can have the opportunity of attracting useful bird species to your yards. Not only do these birds add beauty to your surroundings but they offer plenty other benefits for your gardens.
The most significant advantage is that their ability to keep pests away. Birds are pest eliminators as they feed on these insects. Since spring is the mating season for birds, they will be in search of more bugs for feeding their hatchlings. Research shows that birds can also help improve your moods and are beneficial for your mental health. Of course, the sight of these majestic birds, listening to their chirps and songs is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. So keep reading as I share a few useful tips to help you attract these birds to your yards:
Install Bird Feeders
Apart from insects and fruits offered by your garden, you can also lure wild birds by installing birdfeeders. These can be filled with seeds that include Black oil sunflower, Nyjer, or Safflower seeds, mealworms, fruits and even peanuts. There are various types of feeders available such as the tube feeder, tray feeders, and hopper feeders to name a few. Each one of these can attract different kinds of birds so you will have to decide accordingly. For instance, those who wish to attract Chickadees, Goldfinches, House Finches, and Redpoll should opt for tube feeders. Whereas Jays, Northern Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Buntings will be drawn towards Hopper feeders so you will have to make your choice wisely. Personally, I would recommend installing two or three different types of feeders to accommodate as many birds as possible.
Provide Material for Nesting
Since it is the mating season, birds will be encouraged to reside in your backyard if you provide the necessary supplies. These can include twigs, dead leaves, yarn, thread, dry grass, pine needles, and moss. Some birds even use mud for constructing nests so creating a small puddle can also help.
Birdbaths are Important
After adding the feeders let’s think of other ways to keep the birds entertained. Our feathered neighbors are attracted towards fresh water for drinking and also for keeping themselves cool as the weather begins to get warmer. While looking for a birdbath make sure you choose one that is easy to move and clean. Running water attracts wild birds, so it is best to get a birdbath with a fountain or a mister. Install it in a shady area to protect birdies and a comfortable resting spot.
Bird-Friendly Landscaping Ideas
One of the best ways of attracting wild birds is creating a landscape similar to their habitats and what they prefer in the wild. A bird-friendly landscape should include layers of vegetation, from native plants to medium-sized shrubs and large trees to create the perfect environment for different species. It will require a bit of research if you want to get definite results. You may contact the local Audubon chapter in your area to get more information about particular species and trees that are native to your region. Here are some useful landscaping tips to get you started:
Plant Native Trees
There are plenty of benefits of adding plants that naturally occur in your area to your garden. These act as a source of shelter, provide seeds and fruits for birds and nectar for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Different species are drawn by different plants so you can choose accordingly; here is a list of some common flowering plants, shrubs, and trees:
These are beneficial for attracting butterflies and pollinating species. Blue jays, Goldfinches, and Cardinals love eating the seeds from the plant.
Sunflowers are fascinating for birds and bees. Birds enjoy feeding on the black-oiled sunflower seeds, particularly small species. The seeds are favorite among Black-capped Chickadees, Sparrows, Goldfinches, Nuthatches, Doves, Cardinals, and Woodpeckers, etc.
These are also known as hummingbird magnets as the flowers are an excellent source of nectar for the species. The flowers also attract butterflies (they lay eggs so other birds in your garden may find a few caterpillars to feed on), bees, and some pollinating insects.
Apart from flowering plants, your garden can also use some native vines to add to its beauty. Among the most popular and well-behaved garden vines is the trumpet honeysuckle. Purple finches, Hermit thrushes eat their fruit while hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles feed on its nectar.
The perfect habitat for birds can’t be created without planting shrubs as birds feel secure in the shelter provided by these. Elderberry is among the luxurious bushes that produce purple berries savored by robins, gray catbirds, and bluebirds, etc.
Another shrub that is loved by birds is the dogwood. It produces white flowers that produce berries which can attract bluebirds, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, thrashers, and catbirds.
It is among the shrub that produces fruits that stay on the plant around the year. The silver-gray berries produced by the plant attract Tree Swallows, Catbirds, and Bluebirds, etc.
The mulberry tree is an excellent feeding option for birds due to its heartiness. Birds such as the Waxwings, Cardinals and other songbirds are drawn to the red and white berries produced by the tree, and it also acts as a shelter providing suitable nesting location to the winged travelers.
The tree bears berries that are somewhat similar in flavor to blueberries and are liked by birds and humans alike. It is useful for luring birds such as the Cedar Waxwings, Robins, Mockingbirds, and Catbirds, etc.