Is your backyard going to the birds? Don’t worry, that’s a good thing! A growing trend of backyard ideas is to design your yard to sustain life other than just plants. Sharing your backyard with nature. Plants are beautiful, and can definitely freshen up your backyard, but they don’t move, birds will liven up your backyard and create a sense of activity that pants alone can not.
Bird feeders alone will not achieve a desired bird oasis. There are few simple features the birds need in order for your yard to be treated as a home.
The four basic food groups for birds are Berries, Seeds, Nectar and Bugs. There are several berry plants that are easy to grow (some even wild) that both birds and people love. You can find wild blackberries, raspberries, mulberries, and many more that grow in almost any climate around the world. Some other berries that birds love are mountain ash, service berries, hawthorns, dogwoods, and crabapple. Seeds can easily be store purchased but can also be provided to the birds by planting flowering perennials and even grass seed is a favorite during the winter months when food is scarce. To attract your humming birds and butterflies you will need to plant nectar producing flowers. Nectar rich flowers are easily identified because they usually are brightly colored and have a trumpet flower shape. A few examples would be jasmine, trumpet vine, honeysuckle, salvia, fuchsia and many more. You should have supplemented feed such as bird feeders and nectar feeders all year long but it is very important to keep it filled in the winter months. Bugs are a huge source of food for birds, stop with the pesticides! Not only are they potentially harmful to the environment and your family, they take away a good food source for other living things.
Birds love water. They use it to drink, bathe and play, and usually all in the same source… they aren’t picky. In order to have the bird oasis in your backyard you have to have some source of water, it can be a simple bird bath, a pond, fountain or even puddle. They prefer shallow water so they can stand and splash their wings around to bathe. You will enjoy every minute you spend watching them play in the water.
3. Home Safe Home
Finally birds need a safe place to hang their feathers and raise a family. Most backyards don’t have the necessary qualifications to house birds naturally. This is why our once common song birds such as bluebirds are now pretty rare to see. People don’t realize that their subdivision use to house many birds and now dead trees are removed and landscaping replaced it is not conducive for birds to live. All is not lost though… you can give nature a hand by providing them with a home with birdhouses.
There are some great bird house plans, kits and prefabricated birdhouses available to provide shelter. With just a few easy steps you can make your backyard ideas much more enjoyable for you and the wildlife it attracts. Even small yards are big enough to share with a few birds!
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