Backyard Birding Tips: Plants and Feeders to Attract Birds

The types of birds you can attract to your garden depend on certain factors like climate, location and the time of year. However, while those unchangeable limitations exist, the skilled amateur ornithologist can use feeders and plants to attract many different birds to his garden.

Feeders

Different types of feeders attract different types of birds. Most birds go for seed-filled feeders. These come in different varieties, such as ground feeders, platform feeders and hanging feeders. Cardinals, for instance, prefer the first two feeder varieties. Platform feeders are more frequently recommended, because they're safer for the bird.

Certain seed mixes can attract various types of birds. Along with cardinals, woodpeckers like nuts. Some seed blends come already mixed with nuts. Sunflower seeds are popular with bird lovers; the birds themselves favor the black oil variety. Niger (or nyjer) seeds are a common bird feed and are especially attractive to finches. Sparrows like to eat from the ground feeders, and they will eat niger seeds, too. Some birds, like cardinals, enjoy safflower seeds.

Unlike other birds, hummingbirds use special hummingbird feeders. Hummingbird feeders can be filled with store-bought nectar or a homemade sugar solution, the latter being preferred by most bird lovers.

Plants

The environment of your garden will play a factor in what kind of birds you will attract. Plants play a huge role in this. Some plants attract birds because they provide food for the birds. Some species of holly, for instance, provide berries for the birds to eat. As mentioned, some birds love nuts and seeds; juniper, maples and pines are excellent sources. Trees like evergreens are tall and provide shelter and nesting opportunities for wild bird species.

Controlling bird species and warding away unwanted bird types

You can control which birds come to your garden in subtle ways. Use your feeders to your advantage, choosing the style and feed that attracts the birds you want. For instance, if you want mainly cardinals, simply offer only safflower seeds. The same logic also works for plants.

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