A Garden Birds Will Love
Lawn care regimens are not designed with birds in mind, but many of us enjoy the distinctive songs and fascinating colors that birds bring when they visit. While we wait for the development of a lawn treatment that birds will find irresistible, here are a few simple additions to your landscape that will entice birds to stop by.
An Assortment of Foods
Increasing the number of spiders and grubs in your yard will certainly attract hungry birds, but that approach also has serious drawbacks. Instead, consider adding plants that produce fruits, nectar, nuts, and seeds. Bird favorites include arborvitaes, black-eyed Susans, camellias, holly, and phloxes.
Another time-tested method is hanging feeders. Birdseed mixes are available from many physical and online retailers; thistle seeds and sunflower seeds are also options. Feeders should be placed near overhanging branches or a canopy so that small songbirds can flit in for a quick bite with some protection from predators. Bear in mind that most feeders that claim to be “squirrel-proof” underestimate the persistence of these hungry rodents. To maximize your peace of mind, it’s best to accept that you have actually purchased a combination bird and squirrel feeder.
Birds Yes, Mosquitoes No
Birds who like to multitask will flock to your garden if you provide a birdbath. What bird could resist the opportunity to have a drink and bathe at the same time? Unfortunately, mosquitoes also seek out standing water, to lay eggs. So birdbaths should be emptied and refilled regularly. Running water, as in a waterfall or a fountain, will minimize this problem, while adding another element that appeals to birds: its distinctive sound.
A Bird House Is a Bird Home
If you’re interested in long-term residents rather than guests who eat and run (or fly), consider some bird houses. You’ll know you’ve picked good locations when you can see that birds are lining the interiors with grass and twigs to create a homey feel.
With just these few easy steps, you can significantly increase the number of birds who visit your yard. Some may even decide to move in. Then you’ll be able to observe not only the beauty of birds in flight but also their entertaining behavior when they temporarily come to rest. With birdseed, water, and a place to live on offer — well, a bird could hardly ask for more.