Birds Are Picky About Where to Raise Their Young
Like any expecting couple, birds have pretty clear needs as they start to build their nests. In the spring and even well into summer, birds look for a supply of nesting materials. They also have an eye out for a good source of water. The right food. And safe shelter. Here are some easy things you can do to keep nesting birds choosing your yard, year after year.
Provide Nesting Supplies
You'd be surprised at how much excitement a few short pieces of brightly colored yarn can cause among birds. They love it for nest-building. Yarn, string, gathered together in a safe place, will attract birds in nest-construction mode. Other popular items include dried grass blades and hair, either yours or your pet's, harvested from hair brushes.
Grow Good Cover
Birds like to dart in and out of trees, bushes, and stands of flowers or ornamental grass. If your yard doesn't have these features, you can plant a grouping of pines or shade trees, such as hawthorn. You can attract certain kinds of birds with what you plant. For instance serviceberry trees attract berry-loving birds such as robins, while coral honeysuckle draws in hummingbirds. Cone flower seeds left on the flower in fall and winter will keep goldfinches in your yard.
Make a Bird Oasis
For birds, having a good source of clean water nearby is vital. You can make a difference for birds by doing something as simple as putting out a saucer of water, or something as big as putting in an ornamental pond. Birds are attracted to the sound of falling water, so you could put in a small fountain or waterfall in your pond. A bubbler in a bird bath attracts birds, too.
See our article on birdbaths
Hang out some Feeders
For attracting birds, nothing beats several feeders full of the right food. Platform feeders, tube feeders, and suet cages hung at different heights will attract a wide variety of birds.
See our article on where to locate feeders