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Bring Birds to Your Backyard

Bring Birds to Your Backyard

Wherever you live, you can bring comfort to wildlife and joy to your own life by offering a bit of habitat to nature’s creatures.

With the right plants for food and shelter, you can attract spring and fall migrating birds as well as those that might stay year round. Add water and you can do wonders for birds, butterflies, and your own disposition.

Natural Food or Feeders. Fruits, nuts, and seeds from trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses will attract a variety of birds. Consider plants that offer food specific to the bird species that you want to see in your yard. The same is true for feeding stations. The location, feeder style, and food type will determine the birds that visit.

To attract the greatest variety of birds, use a station with a variety of feeder types, such as gravity-fed cylinder tubes, hopper boxes, platforms, and suet feeders. Position them at different levels. Offer millet for ground feeders; black oil sunflower and thistle for finches, and peanut and suet for woodpeckers. Locate the station feeders next to natural cover such as evergreen shrubs or trees. The feeders should be clean with fresh food or seed.

Open Water, Birdbaths. Most birds need open water for bathing, drinking, and controlling their temperatures. A small backyard pond or a birdbath will do the job. The sound of flowing water attracts birds, so a fountain or small waterfall will increase your chances to bring birds to your backyard.

Cover, natural and manmade. The same trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses that offer food to your backyard birds can also offer them cover. Birds use cover for escape, roosting, nesting and rearing their young. Another option is to build or purchase birdhouses designed for specific species of birds, with the opening size critical.

Backyard booklet available. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has a well-illustrated, full color 28-page booklet available on backyard conservation available at no charge. It contains names of trees, shrubs, flowers and foods that attract birds. It is available by calling 888-LANDCARE. Ask for the Backyard Conservation brochure.

For more information about conservation practices that can improve wildlife habitat on your land, stop at the local NRCS office.

Wildlife Ways

Did you know....
Hummingbirds, the smallest birds in North America, are the only birds that can fly backwards. Hummingbirds’ wings are adapted to helicopter-like flight. Their wings move in a circular whirl that allows them to hover, move ahead, sideways, or backward.