Gardening is for the Birds
May 29, 2020
While birds love birdseed – and feeders are an excellent way to attract them – they also are drawn to varied habitats and plantings. Plants are an important bird habitat element – a source of food (nuts, seeds, insects), moisture (sap, nectar) and shelter.
When planting your garden this season, consider putting in a few plants, trees or shrubs that will turn your yard into a natural bird habitat; they will attract a greater number and variety of birds, make your yard a healthier place for the planet, and will enhance the beauty of your landscape!
Edges. The greatest variety of bird life is found in places where different habitats join, so plant flower beds alongside hedges.
Layering. Vary heights among plants for birds that prefer different elevations for feeding and nesting. For example, shade-tolerant plants beneath large trees.
Evergreens. Adding evergreen trees helps provide shelter for birds in winter.
Brush or Leaf Piles. Yes, we are encouraging you to keep your yard a little messy! You can greatly increase the number of birds visits to your feeder by adding plants that provide cover or leaving fallen leaves and branches underneath the feeder.
Corridors. Help birds travel safely by creating edges of trees, shrubs or brush piles along the borders of your yard.
Plantings. Whenever possible, choose native trees and plants for your birds. Encourage variety in your yard by planting different plants to attract the birds you want to see:
Trumpet honeysuckle, Beebalm, Cardinal flower, Sages
These tiny pollinators love nectar-producing plants. Not only do hummers love beebalm, this plant supports monarch butterfly populations.
· Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Tanagers, Cedar Waxwings
Sunflowers, elderberries, serviceberries, raspberries and blackberries
Sunflowers – the “feeder flower” – have seeds that attract a wide range of birds.
Elderberries, serviceberries, raspberries and blackberries are nutritious fruits that are not only loved for their food value, there also provide excellent cover.
Pine, hickory, oak and cherry trees
These trees provide fruit during fall and draw insects, which in turn attract a range of birds, including woodpeckers, who may make your yard their home throughout the year.
· Chickadees, Titmice
While these cute birds love their seed, they also consumer copious amounts of insects, which these trees host in abundance.
· House Finches, Purple Finches, American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins
Daisies, spruce, hemlock and pines
Daisies offer tiny seeds these birds love, while the conifer trees provide food sources and needles for nests.
Birds not only benefit from a healthy garden, our gardens benefit from birds: they add color, movement and music! They also are a natural form of pest control, eating large amounts of insects, and birds help plants thrive by dispersing seeds. Gardening for birds is a win-win!