Birds are often a welcome addition to the yard with their pleasant songs, bright colors, and interesting antics. Making your yard a welcoming place for them only takes a few simple steps. Putting out bird feeders is often the first thing that people think of when attracting birds and its a good place to start. A simple “House” or hopper feeder with black sunflower seeds is a good place to start for many people since it feeds for several days and attracts a wide variety of birds. It should be checked often and cleaned out if the seeds get wet. A variety of feeders in one yard often attracts a variety of birds. Suet feeds attract chickadees and woodpeckers, while tube feeds attract a wide variety of smaller birds depending on the size of their ports. Offering seed all year long is a good way to keep birds coming back to your yard. Planting trees such as junipers and serviceberries also attract birds that feed on them. Leaving the seedheads on coneflowers also gives seed-eating birds a food source in the winter.
Another good way to attract birds is to offer water all year long. Bird baths in the summer help birds stay clean and hydrated through a drought. Water should be changed daily to keep it clean and prevent disease. Offering a bird bath or heated bowl in the winter is an excellent way to attract a huge variety of birds when water sources are often frozen over. Again, the water should be changed often. Planting large shrubs or small trees near birdfeeders also gives birds somewhere to shelter when flying to and from feeders. If you choose to put up birdhouses, make sure they’re far away from the feeders since mothers aren’t likely to use them if there’s lots of activity nearby. They should be cleaned out once a year. Overall creating a welcoming yard for birds can be as simple or elaborate as you want and always fulfilling.