Attract Birds - Housing
Attract Birds - Trees
Attract Birds - Shrubs, Plants
Prepare for Spring
Attract Birds Intro
for Birds and Butters spreadsheet
relatively few things to be happy - food, lodging, water, and
cover. The best way to make sure your winged guests keep
coming back is to create a suitable habitat. They want dense
vegetation that provides a variety of food, shelter against bad
weather and predators, a place to nest, and a year-round source of
Make your garden inviting to birds, and they'll reward you with
their song and presence year round. The bright colors of
cardinals, bluejays, grosbeaks, and chickadees are one way to really
"decorate" and cheer up your garden in winter!
For an extensive list of plants that attract birds and butterflies,
download our handy spreadsheet with many types of bird
and butterfly attracting plants. It can be sorted by plant
type, bloom time, color, etc. Note you will have to print it
out to see the legend. Use legal size paper, landscape
Like a Bird
our favorite birds prefer natural foods - seeds, nectar, insects, and
fruit. These should be augmented with a well-filled feeder or two,
containing seed that attracts the type of birds you want,
mixes contain seeds that our native songbirds dislike, and they toss them
on the ground out of the way. There, they promptly sprout and infest
your garden with unwanted volunteer plants. Even shells from the
unshelled sunflower seeds can cause a problem because they are very acid,
and can actually harm the pH balance of your soil.
One of the best seeds for most song birds is cracked sunflower seed.
It's usually a mix of regular and the high oil sunflower seeds - with no
shells!. It's a bit more costly, but there is no waste - and no
weeding of sunflower plants from out of the garden either. These
work well in all the different kinds of feeders. Tube-type feeders save the seed for the birds
- but they take only hulled or small seeds.
seed is another excellent variety for attracting the smaller birds, as
well as mourning doves. These require special tube feeders that will
not allow the tiny seed to escape.
is critical in winter to keep the feeders filled. Birds have a fast
metabolic rate, and without adequate food, will weaken and die quickly,
especially in a very cold spell.
and feeders are a good winter addition, as the extra fat helps
replace the birds' metabolic reserves. They are available mixed
with seeds, nuts, insects, etc. to attract the type of birds in your
chickadees and other birds that remain through the winter prefer
suet. Specially treated suet is now available that will not go
rancid even in hot summer months. There are varieties impregnated
with various seeds, peanuts, insects and fruit, too - something for
cedar waxwings prefer fruit. Sliced oranges on a tray will attract
Hummingbirds of course, love nectar, which should be changed
daily in hot weather. There's nothing sadder than a tipsy hummer
who's had a bit too much fermented nectar from a batch that sat in the sun
too long. Orioles are often attracted to hummingbird feeders that
offer them a foot-hold - they don't hover like the hummers.