Two birds on a branch
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Turn Your Yard Into A Bird Paradise With These Handy Landscaping Tips
A Plan
Your trees, flower beds, and tall grasses are a good foundation to build upon. While many birds may visit your garden, many may not, and your plant mix is partly to blame.
To attract winter birds like waxwings and thrushes, you need a mix of evergreens to keep them warm and provide food. For spring nesters, plant fruit-bearing hawthorns and vines.
Native Plants
In the U.S., millions of acres are devoted to lawn. It’s great for humans but not for birds, as it doesn’t provide food, and they abhor pesticides and fertilizers.
To solve this problem, start by carving out an area of the lawn and replacing it with bird-friendly, berry-producing native plants like creeping juniper, bunchberry, and bearberry.
Layer your native plants: Plant diverse native wildflowers (milkweed and black-eyed Susan) and ornamental grasses (little bluestem) for color and to provide fruit and bugs.
Add shrubs (viburnums) and tall trees (especially oaks), which also help birds escape predators. Let the shrubbery flow into each other, as mixed zones offer the best perches.
Place feeders at varying heights. Some birds like raised feeders, others prefer shrub-level feeders, still others like hanging feeders, and some prefer tray feeders.
Small birds like tube feeders; bigger ones prefer hoppers. All must be close to cover, but no closer than 15 feet to avoid squirrels, and 10 feet away from windows to avoid injury.
Put up a charming DIY bird bath or buy one with good footing — no smooth or glossy surfaces. It should provide for heating or de-icing and mimic natural water sources.
Place them near shrubs where birds can hide if there’s danger. Leave them in shade in hot climates, affix a mister to your hose for hummingbirds, and install a fountain if you can.