Basics of Landscaping for Birds
Landscaping for birds involves nine basic
Every bird species has its own unique food
requirements that may change as the seasons change. Learn the food
habits of the birds you wish to attract. Then plant the appropriate
trees, shrubs, and flowers to provide the fruits, berries, seeds,
acorns, and nectar.
You may be able to double the number of bird
species in your yard by providing a source of water. A frog pond,
water garden, or bird bath will get lots of bird use, especially if
the water is dripping, splashing or moving.
Birds need places where they can hide from
predators and escape from severe weather. `I)rees (including dead
ones), shrubs, tall grass and bird houses provide excellent shelter.
The best landscaping plan is one that includes a
variety of native plants. This helps attract the most bird species.
Give birds food and shelter throughout the year
by planting a variety of trees, shrubs and flowers that provide
Properly arrange the different habitat
components in your yard. Consider the effects of prevailing winds (and
snow drifting) so your yard will be protected from harsh winter
Birds should be protected from unnecessary
mortality. When choosing the placement of bird feeders and nest boxes,
consider their accessibility to predators. Picture windows can also be
dangerous for birds, who fly directly at windows when they see the
reflection of trees and shrubs. A network of parallel, vertical
strings spaced 4 inches apart can be placed on the outside of windows
to prevent this problem. Be cautious about the kinds of herbicides and
pesticides used in your yard. Apply them only when necessary and
strictly according to label instructions. In fact, try gardening and
lawn care without using pesticides. Details can be found in gardening
books at the library.
When considering plants not native to your area,
consult a plant hardiness zone map, found in most garden catalogues.
Make sure the plants you want are rated for the winter hardiness zone
classification of your area.
Soils and Topography
Consult your local garden center, university or
county extension office to have your soil tested. Plant species are
often adapted to certain types of soils. If you know what type of soil
you have, you can identify the types of plants that will grow best in