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If you’ve ever put out birdseed and then sat back to watch birds flock to the feeder,
only to be disappointed when none showed, take heart; attracting birds to your yard
usually takes more than simply putting out seed in a feeder. Birds hang out in areas
that fulfill their basic needs: food, shelter, and water. Try the following tips
to make feathered creatures your friends.
Goldfinches love thistle seed. Purple martins love insects. Blue jays will eat anything.
And almost all birds love sunflower seeds. If you want a particular kind of bird
to come to your feeder, read up on what they like best, and then provide it. In the
video below, you can watch a goldfinch, tufted titmouse, and black-capped chickadee
feast on sunflower seed hearts in a winter snowfall.
Birds love water, both to bathe in and to drink. A classic birdbath fills the bill
perfectly. However, splashing water, as in a small fountain or water garden, attracts
even more. A birdbath with a heater installed during the winter keeps birds coming
Once you start feeding birds, keep food supplies steady. Some birds will come to
rely on your supply and will suffer if you stop providing it. Or, they will stop
coming. For best results, set up most feeders in the fall, when overwintering birds
will begin seeking out food sources.
Birdhouses are nice additions to the yard and will attract a family of birds. But
to attract larger numbers of birds, plant trees and large, bushy shrubs. Especially
good are trees and shrubs with small fruits, such as mulberries, which birds love
Mother Nature is smarter than any gardener. A community of native plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species such as birds and butterflies.
Plant lots of perennials, shrubs, trees, groundcovers, and edible plants, and you’ll create a complex ecosystem
right in your yard. The plants will attract insects, which will feed the birds, which
will control the insects, which will protect the plants, which will also provide food
for the birds.
By: Sherri Sanders County Extension Agent - Agriculturessanders@uada.edu