With so many birds out there, it can be frustrating when only a few stop by your yard. The good news is there are plenty of ways to attract birds to your yard so you can sit back and watch all of nature. Adding some new food, new features, water, and shelter, the birds will be flocking to your roost in no time.
How To Attract Birds to Your Yard?
Bringing in some new food is the easiest way to bring in more birds. If you only use a basic mix, you will only get basic birds. For a wide range of species, use some specialized foods.
- Seeds – for songbirds, black oil sunflower seeds are the best, but not all birds like sunflower seeds. Safflower and millet will bring in some new species. Try seed mixtures and see what you get.
- Suet – Offering suet will bring in woodpeckers and other fat-loving birds.
- Nuts – you can choose to add whole nuts and shelled nuts as well as pieces of nuts in your seed mix. Magpies and jays love nuts, especially peanuts and even peanut butter. A pinecone with some peanut butter and seeds will be a real treat.
- Fruit – Add a few platform feeders and offer chunks of fruits including apples, grapes, melons, and oranges to bring in a variety of birds.
- Nectar – Nectar is also a sweet treat that many birds love, but especially hummingbirds. These colorful birds are a real treat and will stop by for nectar. You may also get some woodpeckers and orioles if the nectar feeder is the right size.
You should not only try new foods but also try new feeding methods. Change the way food is offered such as using a platform, a tube, or a saucer. Set up different types of feeders in the yard to give options to everyone that may be flying by your area. With more options, you also reduce competition for the food so more reclusive birds can start coming out.
Not every bird will stop by a feeder, but every bird will be looking for water. Most people leave out a simple birdbath for the local birds but by upgrading features or adding some new ones, you can bring in new species too.
- Multiple sources of water – One birdbath can get crowded pretty quickly, so if you want to bring more birds to the yard, offer multiple water sources. You can add additional birdbaths or simply put a ground bubbler near the bushes or a mister machine near a shady patch. Different birds prefer different types of water, so the more you offer, the more birds you will get.
- Moving water – Birds are more attracted to moving water so consider adding a bubbler or mister. They can hear the moving water from a great distance and will come to investigate and play.
- Cold weather water – Even if you do not live in a freezing climate, temperatures drop during the winter months. You want to make sure water does not form any ice so consider adding a simple heater attachment so birds have water through the year.
Shelter & Nesting
Birds are prey for a number of animals so are always looking for shelter. If they do not feel safe in an area, they will not stay long. With some new shelter and opportunities for nesting, birds will stop by and may even stay awhile.
- Landscape – Birds will look for friendly landscaping so add native plants around the yard that will provide shelter the local birds are familiar with. Add plants to unused areas of the yard to create more density and security.
- Roosts – Add a roost box to your yard to give local birds a safe place to roost in the nights or colder times of the day. Small birds like chickadees, wrens, and bluebirds particularly appreciate safe roosts.
- Birdhouses – It is still a good idea to offer birdhouses too so that any birds that may be mating have a place to nest. Just be sure the size and entrance of the house are the appropriate size for birds you want to attract. Make sure birdhouses are properly protected from predators and positioned in places that are sheltered from any adverse weather.
- Nesting materials – In addition to birdhouses, you can provide nesting options around the yard. By leaving materials for birds to create their own nests, they can set up homes in places where they feel it is safe. Dead flowers, grass clippings, leaves, and weed fluff are great for nests and you can leave piles of these around the yard as you do your weekly yard maintenance.
Now you have plenty of new features and options for all the birds. The more you offer, the more variety you will see. The most important thing to remember is to remain observant. It takes patience to get birds to feel safe so it can take time for some to settle. You also may end up attracting more than you bargained for. So watch your yard and keep track of who scones and who stays, so you can offer appropriate options to keep them comfortable. Then, you will have the beauty of nature all around you, anytime you like.