How to Attract Birds to Your Yard

May 15, 2024

Want to welcome some feathered friends to your backyard and garden? These tips will help you attract local birds to your yard with food, water, and other resources.

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Looking back, I’ve always been a backyard birder – or a bird nerd, if you will.  I remember setting up a bird feeder when I still lived with my parents.  I was amazed by how many different birds it attracted.  So, of course, I eventually set up a bird feeder in my current backyard.

Now, we have all sorts of birds that visit our yard frequently.  We get our common feathered visitors like robins, sparrows, blue jays, grackles, and cardinals.  But my favorite visitors are the birds we don’t see as often like red headed finches, gold finches, and phoebes.

We’ve created something of a wild bird sanctuary in our backyard over the past few years.  They have everything they need in our backyard from food, water, as well as places to shelter.

If you’re looking to attract more wild birds to your backyard, there are several easy ways to do so.

How to Attract Birds to Your Yard

Establish a Spot in Your Yard to Attract Birds

We have a pretty small backyard.  But we do have a space between our shed and deck that is dedicated to the wild birds.  This space includes two small oak trees, a bird bath, hooks for feeders, and bird houses.

It’s close enough to our garden that the birds can search for juicy worms and seeds.  It’s also close enough to the neighbor’s shrubs so they have some extra space to shelter.

If you have stray cats or other predators that come through your yard, make sure that there are places high enough for the birds to safely eat, bathe, and rest.

Set up a Bird Feeder

The best way to attract birds to your yard – like most animals – is through food.  So I would recommend setting up a simple bird feeder and buying a wild bird seed mix.

There are so many different types of bird feeders available, as well as seeds, you can purchase depending on the type of birds you want to attract.  I like to use a squirrel-proof feeder (cause they’re greedy little critters) and a general wild bird mix made with sunflower seeds, grains, and nuts.

For the winter, I also recommend a suet feeder.  It’ll give birds a little extra nourishment when food is a bit harder to find.  This homemade suet recipe has been my go-to during the colder winter months.

Add Native Plants to Your Landscaping

Not only will native plants add a pretty touch to your landscaping, they’ll provide seeds and nectar for birds.  They’re also a good source of food for butterflies and other beneficial insects.  Hedges and bushes will also provide a good place for birds to build nests.

Provide Water

Now that the birds know where to find food, you’ll want to provide them with water.  This is especially important during the hot summer months.

We stop feeding the birds during the summer when insects and seeds are much easier to find.  But we make sure to provide them with water.  Now, we have one bird bath in the front yard and another in the backyard.  I love watching them splash around!

Make sure to rinse out your bird bath and refill it regularly.  You can even add a solar fountain to it.  Our fountain doesn’t seem to bother the birds.  In fact, I think they enjoy it!

Give Them Shelter

Give the birds a place to stay while they’re hanging out in your yard.  Birdhouses and nesting boxes are great options for year round shelter.  Make sure there’s proper ventilation and drainage.  My husband and I even built a couple birdhouses.  You can find a ton of birdhouse plans online.

Trees and bushes are also good places for birds to nest.  Not only do they provide a safe space for birds, they also double as a place for them to find food.

Provide Nesting Materials

This isn’t a necessary step, but it is a nice gesture.  Fill a suet feeder or bird feeder with things like dried grasses, pine needles, and even some pet hair.

If you decide to set out nesting materials, make sure that the natural materials used aren’t treated with any chemicals.  Same goes for pet hair!

If you have coconut fiber lined hanging baskets, just know that birds love them!  I’ve caught many birds picking at my liners to steal material for their nests.

There’s really nothing more peaceful to me than sitting out in my backyard, watching the birds, and listening to them sing.  Once they know that you have a place to find food and water, they’ll show up more frequently.  You’ll see common wild birds in your area and a few others that might surprise you!

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