You probably want to attract nature to your garden, which means water, food and shelter. Below are the provisions you need for attracting birds.
You don’t have to buy an actual bird bath. You can also use shallow containers like pot saucers.
You probably want to accommodate various kinds of birds, so a good rule of thumb laid out by the National Audobon Society is that a bird bath with a depth of two inches is ideal for larger birds like cardinals and grackles and blue jays.
Smaller birds will go in depths of about one inch. If you are using a container that is flat such as a pot saucer, you can add rocks for birds to perch on to mimic the natural setting of lakes and streams.
After you set out your container/containers of water, watch for a few days to see if birds are using it for bathing and preening and then make improvements based on your observations.
If you put more than one feeder in various places more birds will come. Some birds are comfortable with crowds but others like their privacy.
Position your feeder a few feet from a tree or bush. This gives the birds a staging area where they can wait before swooping in.
Locate your bird feeders at different levels. Sparrows, juncos and towhees usually feed on the ground. Finches and cardinals feed in shrubs. Chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers feed in trees.
Once you start feeding birds in the winter it is best to stick with it. Birds in colder areas need more calories and will come to depend on you. You can offer a variety of seeds in separate feeders.
Keep your bird seed in a cool dry place.
You want to have your bird houses set up before breeding season.
- In the south, place your nest boxes by February.
- In northern regions, place your nest boxes by mid to late March.
If possible provide a 2 inch roof overhang to prevent cats from being able to reach into the birdhouse. Drill 1/4 inch holes in the bottom for drainage.
If you live in an apartment building or don’t have a yard, you can still attract birds. Window feeders can be attached to a window with suction cups.
Hanging baskets containing certain flowers will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers that are tubular and hold nectar. They also love the color red.
Plants to attract hummingbirds and butterflies: Petunias, salvias, geraniums, verbena, lantana