AUBURN, Ala.– Spring has officially begun and the world around us has brightened up and come to life. If you are looking to liven up your yard, it is easy to attract songbirds and wild birds. Building a landscape with a variety of plants will provide food and shelter will attract birds to your feeders.
Shelter is used as an escape from enemies and the weather. A landscape with a variety of trees, varying in height will attract many different types of birds to your yard. High grass is usually a good provider of seeds for birds also. Birdhouses and nest boxes are a great yard accessory you can purchase or make to appeal to birds nesting their young. There are different types nest boxes and houses for purple martins, bluebirds, hawks, owls, flickers, flycatchers and more, so keep in mind what kinds of birds you are trying to attract.
Different types of bird feeders are used to attract certain bird species too, so a variety will attract different birds. Colorful flowers and any plants with seeds, nuts, berries and flower nectar will supply food to seedeaters and attract insects for the birds that eat insects. A water source is not necessary to attract birds, but a birdbath will help draw birds to your yard. Raised birdbaths are also good protection for birds from predators, like cats. It is wise to arrange the bird feeders and the birdbath close to draw the birds in. Forest and wildlife specialist Dr. Jim Armstrong explained, “as far as drinking water, it is not a limiting factor for birds because most seed eating birds can get the moisture they need from the seed.” Building a landscape that is appealing to birds will help attract them to your yard and feeders.
“Once you have established a landscape that appeals to songbirds and wild birds, it is important to provide a food supply that will keep them coming back,” added Armstrong. Whether you use bird feeders or just throw seeds into the yard, birds will take full advantage of the food and be sure to check back and see if there is more.
You can buy seed for birds at your local supply store in varieties such as sunflower seeds, thistle, corn, millet and others, depending on the kinds of birds you are feeding. Gold finches like to eat thistle from a tall cylindrical feeder. Hummingbirds are fed a sugar water mixture, or a nectar substitute out of a red flower looking feeder. If you are a fan of woodpeckers, there is a special bird feeder for them. Armstrong said a good treat for woodpeckers is suet, a solid white animal fat. Numerous suet recipes can be found online. Depending on the type of birds you would like to attract, providing food will tempt them into your yard.
When your landscape is inviting with a variety of plants to provide shelter and protection, seeds and other foods and even a bathing area for birds, they will flock to your feeders. To get started on building your birdhouse or nest box for songbirds check out http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0550/ANR-0550.pdf.