Gardening For Birds - Food, Water, Shelter

Discussion in 'Bird' started by Frank, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. Frank

    Frank Happy Gardening Staff Member Administrator

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    This is a nice little article detailing what is important if you want to attract birds to your garden.

    Gardening For Birds by Gene

    Creating the perfect garden for birds begins by understanding the needs of birds.
    Birds, as with other wildlife, require certain elements in the garden to survive.

    These elements include:

    -> Food

    -> Water

    -> Shelter

    Planting for birds can add beauty as well as function to your backyard.

    Food:

    Begin by surveying your yard. You may already have some of the ingredients
    needed for a bird friendly backyard.

    Many flowers you already enjoy provide food for the birds. Coneflowers are
    a favorite summer and fall food source for Goldfinches. Sunflowers offer
    the seed that attracts the greatest variety of birds.

    Consider tubular flowers for attracting Hummingbirds. Favorites include
    Trumpet vine, Cardinal flower, and Scarlet runner.

    Annuals can also attract these tiny hummers, try including mass plantings of
    salvia, impatient, and containers of geraniums.

    Adding some of the ornamental grasses will also provide late summer feeding
    for birds, while providing beauty in the landscape. Those tall plumes provide
    seed Goldfinches, Black-capped Chickadees, and Purple Finches love.

    Shelter:
    Trees and shrubs in the landscape not only provide beauty but offer the birds
    a place to hide and raise their young.

    Flowering Dogwoods, and the small fruited crabapples, not only provide a valuable
    food source, but will attract Robins and others to nest in spring. Select varieties
    that hold their fruit well into winter.

    Favorite shrubs include, Service Berry, Honeysuckle, and American Holly. Plant
    these and you are sure to be visited by Robins, Thrashers, Mockingbirds, and more.
    Shrubs are also a favorite nesting site of the Northern Cardinal.

    Evergreens are an essential part of the bird garden. Providing important shelter
    and berries during winters cold. In spring, you'll be rewarded by nesting birds
    by planting a few varieties of tall evergreens.

    Water:
    How you provide water isn't important. Whether you add a full backyard pond or
    a simple bird bath, just be sure to add water. Birds need water not only to
    drink, but also to keep their feathers in tip-top shape.

    Even in winter, a water supply is needed. Consider purchasing a bird bath heater.
    A heated bird bath will not only keep an open water source available for the birds,
    but will offer you a greater variety of birds to watch. Without a winter source of
    water, birds will have to use energy used to keep warm and survive to find water.

    Allow your plants to remain in the garden through the winter. This allows the birds
    to feed on seed heads and insects much longer.

    Consider placing feeders and birdhouses in your yard. Once you've watched House Wrens
    scouring the soil for insects in your vegetable and flower gardens, you'll be
    convinced, gardening for birds is in your best interest.

    Visit Wild-Bird-Watching.com for bird watching information on the nesting, mating, and feeding habits of backyard birds.
     
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