How to Attract Birds to Your Garden

Attracting birds and wildlife to your garden can be rewarding! Gardeners contribute to the survival of wildlife by providing food and habitat. Here are some helpful tips that will increase the number of birds and other wildlife that visit your yard.

1. Plant Trees
Native trees will help attract birds and insects.They provide a nesting place for birds and squirrels. Plant a variety of trees such as crab apple, birch, maple, yew, alder, beech and conifers (evergreens). Conifers hold their needles all year and are needed shelter and food for birds year round. They provide nuts and seeds when other sources of food are scarce.

2. Grow a Hedge
Hedges provide another nesting area for small birds and animals. Common hedge plants include elder, hawthorn, boxwood, juniper, holly, Korean lilac, arrowwood viburnum, spirea, hydrangea and roses. Bees and butteries will enjoy the food many of these hedges provide.

3.  Grow Wildflowers
Butterflies and bees are drawn to wildflower areas. Native species with an open structure flower are good for attracting bees, and milkweed plants are a particular favorite among butterflies, not only for feeding but also for laying their tiny eggs. Coneflowers, foxglove, bluebells, butterfly weed, cream false indigo, paire blazing star and Ohio goldenrod are some common wildflower plants that are butterfly and bee favorites.

4. Cut Back Perennials in Early Spring Instead of Fall.
Wildlife love the seeds and shelter provided by flowers and their foliage, especially during harsh winters when food is scarce.

5. Place a Bird Feeder in Your Yard
It’s rewarding and enjoyable to watch birds feed from your window. Consider placing a wide variety of bird feeders around your yard. Different types of feeders include platform feeders for ground feeding birds, hanging feeders for perching birds, and suet feeders for insect eating birds. You can even buy squirrel-proof feeders to prevent the squirrels from stealing all the food.

6. Create a Pond or Add a Bird Bath 
Water is an essential element for all wildlife. A bird bath provides a water source for drinking and bathing. A pond will attract frogs, newts, insects such as dragonflies and birds. Water lilies and broad leaf pond weed are two typical water plants to start your pond habitat.

7. Install a Birdhouse/ Nesting Box
A birdhouse will encourage birds to nest in your yard. There are a variety of styles that will suit the different birds in your area. It’s best to install them before the breeding season in spring.

For more information contact:
The National Wildlife Federation Garden- For- Wildlife Program: www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife 

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