How to Attract Birds: Tips for Creating a Bird Sanctuary

Benefits of Attracting Birds

Educational family hobby—Bird watching is a fascinating hobby not only for adults, but for kids. Just by setting up a few bird feeders or even creating a bird sanctuary, you can turn your backyard into a learning center for your children. What’s more, birdwatching can lead another hobby, photography.

Insect control—Because birds (such as orioles and tree swallows) eat a wide range of garden pests, there’s less need for chemical insecticides.

Increased property value—When you have a bird sanctuary, you add beauty to your home, increasing the value of your property.

Birds to Attract

Certain colors and types of flowers attract different birds. For example, if you want hummingbirds to hang out in your yard, plant red and orange tubular flowers. As red flowers stand among less vibrant colored ones, they attract migrating birds

If you want to know what to use to attract certain varieties of birds, check out the North America Bird Feeding website.

Organic Gardening to Attract Birds

Organic gardening is a better calling card for birds than traditional gardening. Although organic gardening attracts insects, it’s usually the kind that eats other insects that nibble away on your garden. And, because birds eat garden pests, you don’t have to use chemical insecticides to get rid of insects.

When planning your garden select plants that provide seeds, berries, fruits, nuts, sap and nectar. These materials can also be used for nesting throughout the year.

Provide Long-Term Food Supply

Although most birds visit yards when it’s warmer, there are some winter birds that stay. If you leave out seed all year long, you’ll build up a good reputation for a bird haven, attracting more birds in the spring. By supplying basic bird food such as seeds and nuts you’ve created a cozy motel or even a permanent home for birds migrating to your yard. Add water and a covering and they’ll move in.

Offer Fresh Bird Seed

Clean out your birdfeeder, making it fresh and inviting for birds flying back north from the winter. Clear out any old birdseed that may have been left over from any winter birds. Also spray for any insects hanging around your birdfeeder.

Types of Bird Feeders

Suspended feeders—Use hanging feeders for birds such as sparrows, greenfinches, tilts, and goldfinches which are more nimble and quick moving. Metal feeders are a good choice as sometimes squirrels can chew on cheap plastic feeders.

Ground feeders—Use tables for birds such as blackbirds, robins, and wrens that fly closer to the ground.

Rather than positioning your bird feeders in the same area, spread them out so the birds won’t congregate in the same place.

Water and Shelter

Anything from a simple dish to an elaborate water garden is sufficient. If the water is splashing and/or moving, it’s even more of a calling card for birds.

Although trees and shrubs are good to raise a bird family, bird houses provide more shelter from bad weather and predators. Bird houses come in a variety of sizes and styles. If you’re handy with carpentry, why not build your own bird house?

A Final Caution

Although attracting birds to your yard has many advantages, it’s not for everyone. If you live in a wooded area where there’s a chance any bears (or other dangerous wild animals) may be around, then it’s not a good idea to lure birds into your backyard. Besides birds, you’ll have other uninvited creatures that won’t be welcome.