One need not be a bona fide birder to invite these wild winged wonders to visit the garden, yard, patio, or deck. A few basic additions can create a bird-friendly environment.
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8 preparations for beckoning wild birds into the yard
These eight steps are sure to make a property more pleasing to the area’s wild birds.
1. Offer trees for shade and shelter.
Sturdy trees provide suitable nesting spots and favorite perches for wild birds.
2. Plant flowers and foliage.
Various bird species tend to prefer their own picks of flowers, berries, and other vegetation. A garden, landscape, or patio pot collection with a lovely assortment may prove most welcoming.
Hummingbirds are attracted to such trumpet-like flowers as lilies and columbine. Robins tend to like freshly tilled garden soil, where worms may be plentiful. Local nursery staffers can usually provide specific planting information for gardeners seeking to welcome certain species of birds.
3. Set up and fill bird feeders all year long.
Bird seed and suet blocks attract feathered friends. Once these creatures grow accustomed to the presence of their favorite foods, they are likely to set up residence nearby.
Bird feeders must be placed up high, so birds can eat safely, out of the reach of possible predators.
4. Place a bird bath in the open.
Free-standing, pedestal, or hanging bird baths invite feathered friends to stop and splash. The water should be refilled and changed often for hydration and hygiene.
5. Have a water source available.
Birds must have plenty of water to drink, like any other living creature. A running fountain, stream, or other fresh and clean water source is a big plus.
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6. Hang birdhouses in safe spots.
Bird lovers may hang up vacancy signs, so to speak, with cozy birdhouses. Although craft and gift shops sell fancy painted ones, many birds opt to take up residence in the more basic, wood-bark or woven-straw variety. The secret is to hang birdhouses securely, nestling them in tree branches to prevent winds and wildlife from interfering with them.
7. Leave nesting materials around.
Particularly in early spring, it’s a good idea to spread straw, shredded fabric scraps, or pieces of yarn for birds to use in nest-making.
8. Keep pets away from bird feeders, bird houses, and bird baths.
Family pets may be the biggest deterrent to wild birds, when it comes to their choice of habitat. If cats or dogs are allowed outdoors at liberty, or in a fenced yard, then bird feeders, birdhouses, and bird baths should be placed far out of reach.
These eight easy accommodations can bring birds flocking to the yard or garden.
Once these simple amenities are in place, all that remains is to sit back quietly and patiently, perhaps with binoculars in hand, and watch the birds arrive.