Designing A Bird Friendly Garden

Birds are wonderful additions to our gardens as they provide us with activity, color, and beautiful songs. Designing our garden around attracting songbirds or native birds is easy once you learn some simple bird attracting tips.

There is more to attracting birds then hanging a birdfeeder, or providing birdhouses and a birdbath. These items are good as starters but you really need to plan your garden around some basic requirements like landscaping plants to attract the birds, trees, and scrubs to shelter and nest the birds and of course a garden with natural sources for food will keep birds coming back to your garden.

Different bird species will need different elements in the environment; decide what type of bird species you want your garden to attract before planning your garden.

Consider your needs and the present landscape while designing your garden. It is not all about the birds, your garden will have human visitors too. Make sure that you take a look around at the existing landscape to be sure that what you are planning for the birds will co-exist with what your landscape is like now.

Your garden does not have to meet ALL of the needs of the birds it attracts. The surrounding area to your home will provide some of the basic needs such as nesting trees. You do want to provide consistent food source and cover from predators and inclement weather.

The cover and food sources you provide in your garden will vary depending on the types of birds you are planning on attracting to your garden. Learn about the species of birds before planning your garden. Find out what trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses they prefer.

Food Sources

During the winter months sunflower seeds offer the oils and carbohydrates that birds need for high energy to survive the cold. In warmer weather birds need nectar, insects, fruits, berries and other succulent plant parts.

Birds also use a lot of plant material when making their nests. If you have ground feeders they love “leaf litter”. Leaf litter is a term referred to all the falling leaves on your ground. Insects hide during the fall, winter and spring under these leaves and are food source for ground feeding birds. Leave some undisturbed leaves in a section of your yard for your birds that are ground feeders.

Nesting Sites

This is where knowing the bird species you are planning on attracting to your garden will come in handy. Some birds prefer cavities for nesting while others prefer birdhouses, nesting on the ground, or in the high branches of trees.

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