More than just hanging a bird feeder or placing a bird bath, there is so much more you can do to invite birds into your garden. In addition to attracting butterflies and bees, birds are wonderful creatures that can rid your garden of pests like mice and insects. They also help in pollination by discarding seeds through their waste. By creating a haven for them, you also provide a safe resting spot for migratory birds and help increase the population of wild birds.
Your first agenda would be to provide food and ideally, you’d want to provide different food sources. Most backyard birds will feed on seeds, berries, nuts, nectar plants, and insects. There are also omnivorous birds. Having a wide range of food sources will support different species of birds. In winter, when food is scarce, you’ll want to support your feathered friends by hanging feeders and filling it with a variety of bird feed. Local stores usually have bags of feeds containing different seeds, nuts, and mixes. You can also add blocks of suet, a type of animal fat that birds love to feast on. Place your feeders away from your house to avoid birds from crashing into your window. You can also offer kitchen scraps like bread or rice. Keep these in moderation because you do not want to attract unwanted guests such as rodents.
Plant fruit-bearing trees or native plants that make a great addition to your garden and will also provide food for the birds. Some examples would be winterberry, coffee berry, gray dogwood, crabapples, and northern bayberry, among others.
If you want to save up, create a create a garden sanctuary that serves as both habitat and diet for birds. Ask local bird experts around your area which plants are preferred by the native birds in your geographic. Play host to a variety of birds and fill your garden with different plant species.
Birds are naturally drawn to clean water for drinking and bathing. Look for shallow birdbaths or place a fountain in an undisturbed part of the garden. Birds will feel safer with surrounding foliage while enjoying their supply of water. Keep supplying water especially on hot days where water evaporates quickly. Don’t forget to fill up a small shallow basin on the ground for ground feeders. In the winter, you can use a heated bird bath to prevent the water from freezing and allow birds to enjoy their warm water. Replace and clean your bird bath’s water to avoid infestation of mosquitoes.
Barren landscapes, bare patios, and well-manicured lawns might not attract birds because these are areas that look like danger zones where they will fall prey to predators. Plant different sized shrubs, trees, and vines. Trees with a large canopy of leaves are very inviting to birds. If you can, allow some parts of your garden to go wild with thickets of leaves that cover and protect birds while they eat their food. Place different sizes of birdhouses in several areas of your garden to offer protection for them in the winter. Regularly clean these birdhouses to prevent any infestation of molds or mildew.
Check with your local stores on what size and what height to place your bird nest box to attract a particular bird species. Provide nesting materials like scraps of wool, yarn or fabric with small twigs. If you have pets, you can brush your dog or cat’s hair outside. Birds use fur as part of their nest materials.