May 25, 2016

Creating A Bird-Friendly Backyard

Author: Kristin Skelton


Bird-Friendly Makes For The Best Backyards

Preparing your yard for visiting birds can be a nice spring project. Wild birds, along with natural flowers, grasses, and plants, can create an extravagant bird-friendly environment.

To make your yard bird-friendly, you need three things: food, water and shelter. With this simple approach, you can attract a variety of birds throughout most of the year.

1. Food. Set up several feeders throughout your yard with different types of food. Birds like variety. Feeders come in various forms such as tray, hopper, window, and tube. You can use a bird guide to help you select different foods to attract certain species.

2. Water. Provide water by setting up shallow pans in various locations. Birds need a clean source of water low to the ground. Place gravel or clean sand in the bottom, and lay a few branches over the bath to allow birds to drink without getting wet. Be sure to empty and replace the water every other day to prevent mosquitoes or contamination.

3. Shelter. You can encourage birds to stay in your yard by providing shelter via nesting materials. Some birds like cavities to nest in while others prefer a partially closed-in nest. Nesting materials include nest boxes (birdhouses), twigs, dry grass, etc.

Another way to you add to an even greater variety of birds in your yard is to reach out to hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are a fascinating addition to any backyard. These tiny birds feed on nectar from flowers, so providing native plants with red, tubular flowers is the best way to attract them.

Feeders designed to hold sugar water “nectar” will be used by hummingbirds too. Most models are colored red to mimic their favorite flowers.  Or you can make your own DIY hummingbird feeder!  Check out this link from the National Wildlife Federation’s website.  These kid-friendly projects utilize recycled items too, which is a plus. Just remember to clean your hummingbird feeder every few days–the “nectar” will spoil easily in hot weather.

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