Start a new garden space just for wildlife. If you don’t already have a designated bird or butterfly garden, now is the time to create one.
You can find entire books and websites dedicated to this subject. Consult these sources and start working on a space today.
The following information is from Steven Saffier, director of Audubon at Home for the National Audubon Society.
The National Audubon Society has lots of wonderful and intensive information if you want to click on the above link and read more.
Birds are attracted to flowers so be sure to have many different kinds
of annuals, perennials and native wildflower species on your lot.
To attract American goldfinches, cardinals, chickadees, evening
grosbeaks, finches and titmice, incorporate sunflowers, purple
coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, asters, cosmos, zinnias, coreopsis,
marigolds and poppies in your gardenscape. They all produce abundant
banquets of tasty seeds that birds relish.
Add native prairie plants
like millet, sorghum, blanket flowers, goldenrod, liatris and globe
pink, red and purple tubular blooms for their sweet nectar, so include
bee balm, columbine, hibiscus, nicotiana, salvia, cardinal flowers,
honeysuckle and nasturtium.
In the fall, avoid cutting down all the dead stalks in your garden
beds. Birds will seek out the remaining seeds all through the winter.
Create a smorgasbord for birds by including fruit-bearing plants in the
yard, at the edges of woodlands and in garden beds.
raspberries, blueberries, juneberries, mulberries, inkberry and Russian
olive will attract mockingbirds, bobwhites, gray catbirds, indigo
buntings, woodpeckers, bluebirds, northern orioles and scarlet tanagers,
These birds will nest in the trees and feast on the
The climbing, twisting stems of vining plants provide the perfect cover
for birds. Their flowers attract nectar-seeking birds like hummingbirds.
Fruiting vines, like grapes and multi-flora roses, offer another food
Watch birds flit among the vines as they determine the best way
to approach a hanging feeder filled with seeds.
Even in winter, vines
left in place offer a perch for birds as they scope out your yard for
leftover seeds on drying perennials.
Birds, of course, like trees to build their nests, raise their young and
escape from predators. It’s important to provide a mix of different
types of trees to attract a large number of bird species.
finding out which trees are indigenous to your area.
maples, beeches and birches are all found in the natural landscape.
Each offers nesting sites among their branches, in
hollows and under their boughs. Evergreens offer protection from the
hot sun in the summer, and protection from rain, snow and ice in the
They also attract insects that hide under their bark and among
their leaves, offering food that bird parents bring back to the nest to feed
Expand your canvas with containers if you need to garden for wildlife in a small space. If you don’t have the space to start a whole new garden, then containers are a great solution.
Hanging baskets add flair to your space while offering a good source for nectar.
Tip: Walk around your favorite garden nursery and note what kinds of plants you see bees, butterflies and hummingbirds feeding from.
You can also stroll around your neighborhood to see what native plants are flourishing and attracting wildlife and birds.
We’ll continue later with more ideas for creating a haven for wildlife in your own yard.