Plant Native Plants: They are pre-adapted to your local climate and are more likely to leaf out and produce the right food at the right time for native birds.
Provide a Water Source: Put these near protective shrubs during summer months. On hot days birds are especially eager to drink and bathe. Birdbaths should be only an inch or two deep with a shallow slope. A dripping effect or fountain will lure even more birds.
Create a Songbird Border: Plant native trees and shrubs along the edge of your property that meet the needs of birds through the year. Remember to include evergreens for cover during extreme heat and cold.
Plant Long-Lived Native Trees: Oaks and Maples can provide shelter, food and singing perches for birds for centuries to come. Planting a long-lived tree is a gift to future generations of both birds and people.
Create a Brush Pile: Each time a storm drops limbs on your property, pile them up. During spring cleanup save those downed limbs and tree trunks. Layer the larger logs as a foundation, and then build up the pile in successive layers. Songbirds will find shelter from extreme weather in such cover throughout the year.
Reduce Your Lawn: Favor meadow and taller grasses to provide seeds and nesting places for birds. Cut this meadow just once a year and let the remainder of the lawn grow at least 3 inches tall before cutting.
GARDENING FOR THE BIRDS
BACKYARD BIRD GARDENS
Your gardens look beautiful. You labored to get the perfect combination of perennials, annuals, shrubs, trees and hardscape. But something is missing, the live performers in your garden. Not the Japanese Beatles, the groundhog, squirrel or chipmunk that feast daily but the song, beauty and dance of those beautiful performers the birds. How do we attract them to our yards? How do we entice them to stay?
Gardening that mimics naturals habitats can help increase the diversity of life in our backyard “islands,” but ongoing tinkering is necessary to keep it there. Once we attract bluebirds, cardinals, woodpeckers and other birds to our gardens, we want them to stay. Here are some tips for managing your backyard bird islands: