If you like the idea of bird watching but you’re reluctant to hike a trail through a forest with binoculars dangling around your neck, why not travel only as far as your backyard? A popular backyard design trend is to create an environment that attracts birds by doing a number of bird-friendly things including planting a variety of trees and shrubs. Adding a water feature to your backyard – the noisier the more attractive – is another way to make a lot of avian friends. Attracting birds to your backyard is the first step to bird watching urban style, even it’s from the comfort of your patio. Designing a backyard that is attractive to birds is not hard.
Feed the Birds
As with humans, food is a great way to break the ice and make new friends. The simplest way to feed the birds is to place a bird feeder in your backyard. Bird feeders come in many shapes and sizes from ones on stands like the H Potter Wellington Bird Feeder Stand to simple ones consisting of a raised platform and a groove or area to put the food. However, keep in mind that enclosed feeders like a hopper feeder or a tube feeder will not have to be filled as often. Depending on how large your backyard is having more than one feeder is a good idea. Or if you only want only one feeder, you can select a couple of trees and throw bird seed directly on the ground around the base of each tree.
Water Water Everywhere
Birds love water, and especially the sound of moving water is very attractive to them. The water should be shallow, as in a pond or bird bath. To make still water “musical” to wild birds, put a dripper, circulating pump or mister in a shallow pool or birdbath.
Shelter from the Storm
The birds you attract to your backyard will need protection from the elements and their natural predators. Bushy shrubs, tall trees and trellises covered with trailing vines will all provide good places for birds to hide. Particularly since the sound of birds splashing or squabbling over who gets what morsel of food will attract certain types of enemies, items like a birdbath or bird feeder should be placed near places they can easily take cover.
Different types of birds are attracted to different types of nests. To attract a specific type of bird to your backyard, do a little research to see what type of housing the local birds in your region enjoy the most. Some types of birds don’t mind bird houses built by humans; other species do. There are all kinds of bird houses and nesting boxes; each type will attract a different specie of bird.
Vegetation for the Birds
In order to have a really bird-friendly backyard, plan on having as varied a selection of plants, trees and shrubs as possible. Vegetation of different heights will attract different species of birds. Typical levels and heights include:
- Ground cover, including grass – 2 to 12 inches
- Shrubs – 2 to 5 feet
- Short trees – 5 to 15 feet
- Tall trees – 15 to 40 feet
So that you don’t have to depend solely on bird seed to feed your fine feathered friends, plant plants and foliage that produce berries, seeds, fruits, nuts and sap – all tasty avian treats.