Many of us enjoy the sounds of birds singing and chirping in our gardens or yards. Not only are birds beautiful to look at, they also provide many with a real appreciation of nature. There are clearly many benefits associated with attracting birds to the landscape, however in order to experience these benefits, we first need to attract the birds to our gardens! It is quite easy to attract birds to your property by following a few simple design principles, and by choosing plants for your landscape that naturally attract birds.
Bird feeders are old staples for those who wish to see birds in their yards. When using feeders, they should be placed conveniently, and they should also be large enough to hold two to three days worth of food. Placing bird feeders in various parts of the garden can be a great help in attracting more birds into your landscape. However, the bird feeders should serve as supplements to the various plants in your yard that provide food and shelter to encourage the birds to think of your garden or yard as home.
The first thing to remember when designing a landscape to attract birds is that your design should provide shelter to protect birds from the elements or from predators. Evergreens are great in this role, as they often provide plenty of space for a bird to disappear crawl into, but they are very difficult for predators to penetrate. Additionally, they can be thick enough to provide adequate shelter against the elements. Evergreen trees and bushes, moreover, can look both attractive and appropriate with just about any home. They are also fairly hardy and easy to take care of. In general the type of plants that provide good shelter to birds include other woody plants. Features like decks and birdhouses also provide great places for birds to shelter.
The next thing that should be done in designing your landscape to attract birds is to provide plants that offer a consistent food supply. These plantings should offer a great deal of food, and produce enough food to meet the bird’s needs, with the help or addition of bird feeders. In addition, there should be a variety of plants that offer seeds and fruits at various times so that the food supply lasts for an extended period of time. Holly plants (if you use blue holly, you will need both a blue boy and a blue girl in order for there to be any berries), crabapple trees, sunflowers, and other plants that produce berries and seed are excellent choices. Many of these plants are very attractive and can be made to look good in any design, alongside being an excellent source of food for our winged friends.
Another landscape principle to keep in mind while selecting plants that attract birds is to select plants that attract insects. Most scented flowers attract insects, and this means that your yard will attract birds that eat insects. Not only are there many beautiful flowers, like the roses, that attract insects, but these also in turn smell very pleasant. You can have a fragrant garden or yard, as well as one that is really attractive to the birds. Among your choices for insect-attracting flowers, choose some that bloom during the spring migration periods. Then you will be sure to get birds on their way through town, headed north.
Finally, there are landscape features that are not plant-related. These features, other than bird feeders and birdhouses, can also mean the difference between a garden or yard bursting with birdsong and one that is depressingly quiet. These features are water features. Birds like to have places where they can bathe and drink. There is no need for a big water feature; a small birdbath or basin is often more than sufficient. Birds do prefer moving water, so small features that circulate water, or even water in gently sloping basins or troughs can be very attractive to birds.
It does not need to cost a lot of extra money to attract birds to your landscape. There are plenty of discount stores that offer great birdhouses, feeders, and water features at low costs.
Birds do not require anything really special. For the most, part you just need to keep them in mind if you want them to be part of your landscape. Much of the time attractive plants and features that you would have been likely to have purchased anyway can be incorporated to make your landscape more pleasing to the ear.