Gardening for the Birds
Look at your yard from a bird's-eye point of view. Are there places for birds to hide? Songbirds need protective cover from potential enemies, like cats. Evergreens and shrubs planted against walls will give birds a place out of the cold, wind, and rain.
By choosing a variety of tall, medium, and low-growing plants, you can create different food niches in your garden. The more food niches you provide, the more kinds of birds will be able to live and feed in the same area.
Different bird species can live in the same territory without competing for food. A bird's bill is its most important implement in gathering food, and its size and shape of is a good indication of the type of food fed on by that species. View a PDF for more information
Protective coloration is one reason birds prefer certain plants as nesting sites. Birds that live in trees generally have olive or gray upper parts. Ground dwellers often have earth-tone upper parts with patches of darker colors. Grassland birds generally have streaked plumage.
With constant movement and wings beating up to 90 times per second, hummingbirds need to feed constantly, consuming up to one half their body weight daily. One study estimated that each bird consumed nectar from 1,000 blossoms daily. Read more about hummingbirds on our blog
Dandelions are important plants for many birds, providing seed in all seasons, if you let them. Sparrows, goldfinches, indigo buntings, and pine siskins are among the birds that eat the seeds, and the fluffy seed heads provide nest material.
You may already have a bird feeder, but you can attract a far wider range of species, and they will stay longer, if you create a bird-friendly landscape. Gardening for the Birds shows you how. Read more
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