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Birds are fascinating creatures and more people are recognizing how enjoyable it can be to watch them. Wild birds require minimal care and can provide hours of entertainment and relaxation. Luckily, it is relatively easy to attract a variety of birds to your own backyard. Following a few tips will help you get set up the right way to you can attract visitors to your own backyard birding oasis.
1. Provide Fresh Food and Water
Most birds will happily peck away at a variety of seeds, nuts and berries as long as they are fresh. That means changing out the seeds in your feeder on a regular basis. Many people find that it is easier to keep up with several, smaller feeders than a single oversized one. Shop bird feeders for sale to find a style that is easy to fill and clean. While you are shopping, you’ll probably notice that feeders come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles. The right one for your backyard setup will depend largely on personal preference. However, you should also take into consideration any special feeding requirements or natural predators of the birds you are trying to attract.
Just like people, birds also need constant access to fresh, clean water. For most people, that means installing a birdbath or another small water feature. Ponds can be a favorite place for many types of birds, but they may also attract natural predators.
2. Offer a Safe and Secure Area
Location can be key when you are trying to attract wild birds. You want to find a protected area that offers some privacy. You do not want to choose a location that is too secluded for food or water, however, since it will inhibit the birds’ ability to spot predators. While setting up a feeder directly outside your window may seem like a great way to watch birds from the comfort of your home, it also means that other critters like squirrels can easily access the contents. In the same way, perches or nesting boxes too close to a house can offer a clear path for snakes looking to make a snack of fresh eggs or hatchlings. It’s best if you can choose a location that is both protected, yet open enough for them to spot potential trouble.
3. Give Them a Little Privacy
Birdhouses are a nice touch for encouraging birds to stay around. This way, instead of watching them fly off home after they eat, you can see them set up house and raise their families. Some birds will become long term residents, whether by overwintering there or by returning to your yard year after year. In order to encourage nesting behavior, provide a private and secure housing structure that is an appropriate size for your target birds. Be sure to check inside and outside dimensions, as well as the size of the entrance. Offering nesting material like hair, string and pet fur can aid the construction of sturdy and safe nests.
4. Use Native Landscaping
Native landscaping plants offer easily recognizable food and shelter to birds and encourage them to visit your yard. As an added bonus, these plants are uniquely suited to the local climate so they will require less care than non-native species. Put in a variety of plants that complement each other and offer food throughout the year. Berries, seeds and nuts are especially attractive in the winter months when fresh food can be scarce.
5. Prevent Freezing During Winter Weather
Speaking of the winter, if you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures, you’ll want to look at ways to keep water sources liquid during the coldest months. That might be a heated birdbath, a fountain that keeps the water running, or even installing a portable heater in a bucket of water for the occasional sub-freezing day.
With a little planning, you can enjoy bird watching from the comfort of your own home. Provide fresh food and water and a safe place for nesting to encourage native birds to your yard.
Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .