How To: Attract birds to your backyard

Attract birds to your backyard

Quit hogging your own backyard. Make it a haven for your fine feathered friends. Learn how to attract birds to your yard.

You Will Need
* Undisturbed trees or shrubs large enough to provide bird shelter
* Native plants that provide seeds, berries, and nectar
* A water source such as a stream, pond, or birdbath
* Wildflowers
* One or more bird feeders
* Birdhouses matched to your local species
* Logs

Step 1: Identify plants & trees
Identify which plants and trees in your yard already attract local birdlife.

Step 2: Add native trees, bushes, & flowers
Add native trees, bushes, and flowers that provide seeds, berries, or nectar for wild birds. Consult your state's horticultural or Audubon society for suggestions, or ask a local nursery.
*Tip: Think twice before getting rid of dead or dying branches and stumps, which provide shelter to many birds. Consider adding logs to your landscaping.

Step 3: Include water in your yard
Include water in your yard—a birdbath, fountain, stream, or pond will do the trick.

Step 4: Replace lawn w/ wildflower meadow
Consider replacing some of your lawn with a wildflower meadow. Even a small patch of wildflowers and tall grass will attract wild birds.

Step 5: Hang bird feeders
Hang bird feeders close to trees so birds can be sheltered—and ideally in sight of a window, so you can enjoy watching them.

Step 6: Build or buy a birdhouse
Build or buy a birdhouse and then put it up. Check with your local library, fish and wildlife department, or Audubon group to see what birdhouses suit your local species.
*Tip: Keep your cats inside. It is estimated that house cats cause up to 100 million bird deaths each year in the U.S.

Step 7: Leave nests in place
If a bird builds a nest in your yard, leave it in place even after the babies have flown. The birds might return next year.

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