Are you hoping to attract more birds to your yard?
While it can be a lot of fun to observe birds in their natural habitat, attracting more birds to your yard is also beneficial for your garden. Birds help to keep pests and weeds at bay, and some birds can pollinate flowers so they can grow.
But how do you attract birds to your yard?
Check out this guide to discover how to turn your backyard into a paradise for birds.
Give Them Nesting Sites
Just like humans, birds rely on a few very basic things to stay alive: food, shelter, and water. Providing suitable nesting sites will increase the number of birds that come to your yard.
You can set out nesting materials so birds can construct their own nests, or you set up some birdhouses. Birds prefer to construct their nests from weed fluff as well as small twigs and sticks. If you don’t have any nesting material lying around, you can purchase some.
When it comes to birdhouses, you can either buy one or build your own. Here are some tips for choosing the best wooden bird houses:
- Make sure the size of the entrance hole is large enough to fit the bird species in your area
- However, make sure the entrance hole isn’t too large, as you don’t want there to be room for predators to sneak in
- Choose a birdhouse with hinged panels or removable walls so it’s easy to clean
- Make sure the birdhouse has holes for ventilation and drainage
Once you purchase a birdhouse, you need to make sure you put it in the right spot. Different birds have different requirements for nesting, so it’s important to research what the species in your area prefer.
For example, bluebirds prefer birdhouses that face open fields, as this gives them easy access to insects that they can snack on. Chickadees, on the other hand, prefer to nest in a thicket or amongst small trees and shrubs.
Also, make sure to hang your birdhouse about 15 to 20 feet off of the ground so it’s out of the reach of cats and other predators.
Choose the Right Bird Feed
To attract more birds to your yard, you should set out a variety of bird feed. Here are some of the types of food you should set out:
Suet is the fat that surrounds animals’ kidneys. While it may not sound very appetizing, birds love suet. Nuthatches, woodpeckers, jays, starlings, and chickadees are particularly fond of suet.
You can purchase suet from the store, or you can make a homemade version. To attract even more birds to your yard, try different blends of suet.
Of course, every bird loves to feed on seeds. The type of seed you set out will depend on the type of bird you want to attract. For example, songbirds prefer black oil sunflower seeds.
Other types of seeds you should set out include millet, safflower, and nyjer. You can add seeds to existing mixes or set them out on their own to see which seeds your local birds prefer the most.
Most of us have memories from childhood of spreading some peanut butter on a stick and sprinkling on some seeds to attract birds. Turns out, this wasn’t just some urban legend- birds love peanut butter, especially titmice birds, jays, and magpies.
You can also set out whole or shelled nuts in your backyard to attract a wider variety of species.
If you’re trying to attract more hummingbirds to your yard, then you definitely want to set out some nectar. Woodpeckers and orioles are also quite fond of nectar.
Fruit is the perfect sweet treat for enticing more birds to come to your yard. Apples, oranges, grapes, and melons are some favorites among birds. Just make sure to break them up into small enough pieces for the birds to chew on.
While some people try to attract birds with bread and other table scraps, this is not a good idea. Most human foods (save for the ones listed above) are harmful to birds. Moldy bread, in particular, will make birds sick. Plus, most table scraps will attract mice and rats to your yard.
Choose the Right Birdfeeder
You won’t make it very far with your new bird food if you don’t have the right birdfeeder. Make sure the birdfeeder you choose is sturdy enough to withstand nosey squirrels and harsh winter weather.
Also, make sure the feeder you buy doesn’t have any sharp edges or points that can harm the bird. You’ll need to clean the bird feeder every few months, so also make sure you choose one that’s easy to disassemble and put back together.
Just as you need to be strategic about where you hang your birdhouse, so too do you need to be strategic about where you hang your birdfeeder. To protect your local birds from getting hurt, you should place the feeder within a few feet of your windows or 30 feet or more away from your windows.
Ideally, you want to place the feeder 10 to 12 feet away from a tree or shrub so that the birds have a suitable shelter should a predator approach. Make sure the feeder is easy to spot and that it’s placed in a quiet area where birds won’t be scared away.
Are You Ready to Attract Birds to Your Yard?
Now that you know how to attract birds to your yard, it’s time to put the tips in this article to use. Pretty soon, your yard will be filled with all sorts of beautiful birds.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more bird-related news and tips.