Landscaping Tips for a Bird-Friendly Yard
By: Julie Day
Hollies provide both shelter and food for winter birds.
3. Basic Bird Need: Shelter
Birds need places to rest, escape predators, and build their nests. A garden with plenty of shelter is sure to have lots of birds. Tips include:
- Variety: The best bird shelter includes a variety of trees and shrubs with varying textures and heights.
- Borders: Mixed shrub borders are perfect, because you can include a wide variety of plants that offer food, shelter, and nesting spots; and they’re usually far enough away from the house that the birds feel safe.
- Hedges: Birds love the deep shelter provided by hedges.
- Safety: Consider some prickly or thorny shrubs to provide added security from predators.
- Evergreens: Conifers and evergreens are great shelter choices because they stay green year-round. Many varieties also produce berries or nuts, which provide an additional food element.
- Birdhouses: Artificial shelter can be provided in the form of nesting boxes, such as bluebird houses. Choose nesting boxes specific to the birds in your garden, as many birds will not use a basic bird house.
- Nesting Materials: Include a variety of plants with different textures, including grasses and fluffy plants, to give birds ample material to build their nests. Grass clippings are perfect if left mulched into your lawn. You can also put out small bundles of nesting materials, but it needs to be done properly to prevent injury to the birds. Check out our article on How to Attract Birds to Your Yard with Nesting Materials to find out more.