The robins are chirping, the meadowlarks are singing, and that unshakeable feeling of spring is floating through the air. That is unless your yard is silent – without the bright, quick colours and cheerful sounds that birds bring.
For those tired of winter silence, here’s a couple tips to help attract these lovely little critters into your backyard. Because, there’s no better way (other than a good spring clean up) to get your yard spring-ready than by making it bird-friendly.
How to Attract Birds to Your Yard
Bird’s chirps and songs will serenade you, they’ll add charm, beauty, and peaceful atmosphere to your backyard. It’s a beautiful relationship: humans provide the shelter, food, and water, and the birds provide charm, loveliness, and joy. Sounds a bit like being a parent….
In order to attract birds to your yard, you’ll want to provide these three essentials:
- Food – Seeds, berries, and a place where grubs and worms live – if you provide the food, the birds will come.
- Water – You can have some fun with this one. Birds need water to drink, of course, but they can also bathe in little baths and water features you create for them.
- Shelter – To protect them from the elements, as well as from predators, creating natural shelters for birds will encourage them to stick around longer.
Depending on which birds you want to attract, you can create the ideal spot for each, increasing the chance they’ll make an appearance in your yard.
Tips for Attracting Robins
Food – These little foragers prefer to pick and peck their way around your grass, searching for mealworms, grubs, and any sweet little berries scattered about. You can leave these items in a dish on the ground, or scattered about your yard:
- Crushed peanuts
Water – Robins like to bathe regularly, so it’s a good idea to create a little bath for them. Water features also add beauty to your property!
Shelter – Because robins like to look for their food on the ground, they’re at risk for attacks from cats and the like. Provide bushes, and possibly build some little platforms or birdhouses for them to move into.
Tips for attracting Meadowlarks
Food – This song bird’s call is unmistakeable, and a sure sign of spring. Help give these birds a reason to sing by providing them:
- sunflower seeds
- cracked corn
- areas where grubs will grow
Though meadowlarks typically feed by foraging on the ground, they will visit hanging bird feeders, too.
Water – Like many birds, Meadowlarks love to bathe, and need to drink. Adding a bird bath can help you attract these singing birds to your backyard.
Shelter – Meadowlarks like to nest on the ground, in open areas with long grass. They might choose an open field in favour of your backyard, but by giving them a reason to visit (aka, offering food and water), you’re increasing the chance they’ll return.
Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds
Food – Small enough to be mistaken for a big bug, hummingbirds are usually met with excitement and appreciation. They love sugar, and require their very own, special hummingbird feeder filled with bright, sugar water.
Water – Hummingbirds love to bathe off the sticky nectar and sugar water they feed on. But, typical bird baths are often too deep for these tiny birds. Instead, they prefer splashing water or mist. So, you can either add in some misters, or splashing water fountains!
Shelter – Adequate perching spots, sheltered trees, and shrubs help hummingbirds to feel safe and secure. Plants that provide shelter from the sun, wind, and rain are also ideal spots for a hummingbird’s nest. Thorny plants are another great option that can provide protection from any predators as well.
Beware the Cat
House cats kill hundreds of thousands of songbirds each year. So, if birds see a cat in your yard they will scatter. Either keep your cats in your house, or attach a bell to alert any birds to those stalking felines.
Becoming Bird-Friendly is the Best Choice for Your Yard
Not only does attracting birds infuse some charm and life to your yard, but birds also act as a natural pest control, eating up those pesky gnats, mosquitoes, and other pesky bugs. As well, they help to spread seeds, and help to pollinate flowers and plants. By creating a hospitable yard, you’re also giving back, and helping bird populations thrive, creating life and vitality all over your community.
So get out there, and have some fun with your bird-feeders, and get creative with some DIY bird feeder ideas!