There’s nothing more enjoyable than drinking your morning coffee on your porch and watching colorful birds visit your bird feeder. Feeding is just one important part of attracting birds that needs to be fulfilled if you want birds to continue to visit your yard. The three essentials in attracting birds are; shelter from the weather, food, and of course water.
If you provide shelter for your bird guests then you are helping them out in a big way. Birds spend weeks scouting for appropriate nesting sites which are usually in trees, shrubs, vines, or on the ground. However, there are over 50 species of birds that enjoy man-made shelters such as wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, sparrows, and swallows.
You can make birds’ lives easier by setting out desired nesting materials such as cotton, feathers, twigs, horsehair, straw, and yarn.
Birds spend most of their waking hours hunting for insects or foraging for berries and seeds. Anything that makes their life easier will encourage them to stay put. Luckily this is one of the easiest ways to attract birds. Birdseed for various species is available at hardware and garden stores everywhere. Hang or place feeders in easily accessible areas that keep the seed dry and away from squirrels who will scare birds off.
Avid bird watchers know that the best time to see birds is in the winter when food is scarce. During the warm months feeding birds is not necessary because birds can naturally find plenty of insects, seeds, and fruit, but in the winter when food supplies dry up it becomes difficult to forage. Keeping your feeders well stocked will not only attract birds that overwinter naturally but if you have provided all three essential elements you could even entice birds that usually migrate to stick around all winter.
For more permanent sources of food plant shrubs and trees that produce berries year-round such as crabapples, huckleberry, chokecherry, and mulberry.
Water is an essential part of any bird community. The presence or lack of water has a direct effect on where birds build their nests. A constant supply will cause birds to build their nests nearby so they don’t have to worry about searching for the nearest puddle or pond.
Birds on their annual migration are also on the lookout for fresh sources of water so they can stop and recharge before they continue their long journey. This is especially exciting as you will be visited by various species of birds you wouldn’t normally see.
You can fulfill this need by placing a birdbath, fountain, or pan of water out for them to enjoy. We recommend using something with moving water to discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs.
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