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Gardening to Attract Birds

When planning a garden or yard design, deciding what type of tree, bush, flower, or even vegetable plant can and does make a difference in which birds visit, or call your garden home.

Wild birds need cover and food, by choosing the right cover and the right food for their preference you will attract the birds you want to see, and give them the perfect gift.

Fruit for migration is important for migrating birds in the fall. Most bird distributed fruits are red, making them easy for birds to see. This is a welcome sight for migrating birds and definitely should be considered for your garden planning.

You can choose a variety of shrubs that fruit at different times of the year to provide a continuous supply of food. Good examples are Highbrush Blackberry, Eastern Redcedar, American Elderberry, Wild Rose, Dogwood, Holly, Creeping Juniper, and Beautyberry. However, there is an almost endless variety to choose from. So take a trip to your nearest plant nursery and start asking questions pertinent to your own particular area of the country.

Also, by having bushes and dense shrubs that have different heights, you provide the preferred cover for many birds. This adding of plant level heights gives different wild birds more leaves, branches, and underbrush to feed on insects. This is very important as most birds feed on insects at least part of the year.

Thickets grow rapidly and have thriving insect life to attract many birds, especially smaller song birds. They are also the perfect place for many birds to nest build. These shrubs are well covered with protective stems that deter large birds and rabbits, but are favored protection for many smaller species such as Wrens, Tree and Song Sparrows, Juncos, Yellow-Breasted Chats, Yellow Warblers, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, Cardinals, Brown Thrashers, and many more.

Along with the right shrubs and bushes, look to the best trees for attracting birds you want to see. Trees can be used as wind breaks to protect your yard area from high wind, and for many species a tree you choose will be used to nest in or to feed in.

Some good examples would be as follows:

Sugar Maples have two winged fruit and many large branches for nesting. The American Robin and White Eyed Vireo frequently nest in its branches. Also, it provides much foliage for other birds to eat insects from, such as the Oriole, Wrens, and Warblers.

White Oak Trees develop small brown fruits/acorns. These large spreading trees attract Northern Flickers, Blue Jays, Red-Headed Woodpeckers, and other acorn eating birds.

Hackberry Trees are deciduous native trees that grow in drier areas and produce fruit that persists into the winter. This tree is favored by the Cedar Waxwing.

Pine Trees are perfect for Flycatchers, Carolina Chickadees, Nuthatch, and many others.

Hawthorn Trees have rounded red fruits that attract many birds including, grosbeak, thrush, purple finch, and robins.

Attracting special birds such as hummingbirds takes a whole different approach, as these birds need the nectar of flowering plants.

Hummingbirds can be attracted to your yard by planting Summer Lilac, also called Butterfly bush, Trumpet Vine, Scarlet Lobellia, the nectar of columbine, and bee balm plants.

Whatever your choice, a good birders plant guide and a visit to your local garden shop can make the decisions surprisingly easy. Good luck, and enjoy the wild birds around us.

Original Author: Steve Miller Full Bio

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