Landscaping Tips for a Bird-Friendly Yard
By: Julie Day
Birds appreciate a natural garden that isn’t overly manicured.
Landscape Design Tips to Attract Birds
- Use Borders: Birds like landscapes that have “edges,” with groupings of sheltering plants and trees connected by open corridors. Plant larger trees and shrubs in clusters, with multilayered planting beds around the borders. Tuck flowering plants, bird feeders, and birdbaths in these sheltered borders.
- Go Native: When possible, choose native plants. Native plants attract the right insects and provide food and shelter at the right times to keep your little ecosystem balanced and full of happy birds.
- Think Variety: Plant using different heights, colors, and textures. While some birds are attracted to specific plants, in general they’re looking for a nice place to call home with plenty of food and nesting opportunities.
- Limit Pruning: Spring and summer are nesting seasons, so hold off on any heavy pruning until your birds have had a chance to raise their young safely.
- Go Wild: Allow some areas of your garden to “go natural.” Brush piles, leaf litter, and fallen trees are gold mines for insect-eating birds, and they also provide great hiding places. Don’t deadhead every blossom and leave some fallen leaves in the beds. Find a balance between over manicured and a bit wild, so you and the birds will both be happy.
- Landscaping for Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
- Hummingbirds in the Garden
- Birdbaths (Video)
- Wild Bird Feeding Basics
- How to Make a Suet Bird Feeder
- All About Birds (Cornell Bird Identification Guide)