Bird chirps and songs are one of the many joys of a Springtime garden. Customizing your yard based on habitat, nest needs, and diet will help lure feathered friends into your yard and keep them coming back year after year!
The most important part of attracting birds is consistency. Birds like to know they can count on a specific location for their needs, so stay consistent.
Habitat: Cardinals like areas dense with growth like thick evergreens. They also like privacy, so planting evergreens close together to create a hedge or border will provide them with a great spot to nest.
Nest Needs: Cardinals rarely use bird houses to build nests, so instead of providing a house, provide nest materials. Dog, fur, yarn, and empty containers are perfect building materials.
Diet: Cardinals will eat almost any kind of seed. Sunflower, suet, or even broken peanuts are all great food sources. If you want to provide an extra special treat, fill a mealworm feeder or plant berry bushes or apple trees.
Habitat: Finches love nesting in vertical branches on the tops of trees. Plant nesting trees 5 feet or taller to help attract Finches to your yard. They are also attracted to color. Colorful flowers planted near their habitat will draw them in.
Nest Needs: Plant thistle near nesting trees to help create a perfect area for finches to call home.
Diet: Finches like to eat in private. Place your Finch feeder at least 15 feet away from any other feeders. Use a mesh Finch feeder filled with thistle seed and clean your feeder 2 times a month to keep it fresh, the way Finches prefer. Tying a brightly colored ribbon to the feeder will also draw them in.
Habitat: Hummingbirds love flowers like Salvia, Zinnias, and Butterfly Bush. Choose plants, trees, shrubs and vines with different bloom times so there will always be something flowering. Include options for birds to perch to help them stay in your yard.
Nest Needs: Hummingbirds prefer to build their nest near their food source. Use smaller trees and shrubs as perches, and twigs, plant fibers and spider silk to build their nests. Hummingbirds will construct expandable nests in a private area.
Diet: Although a hummingbird’s diet consists mostly of nectar, they also eat insects for protein. Keep pesticides away from their nesting areas and provide nectar feeders throughout your yard to give them plenty of feeding options.
Habitat: Sparrows live in urban areas and around farms where food and shelter are easy to find.
Nest Needs: Sparrows aren’t picky about where they nest–anything from a crevice in a building to a hole in a tree or building is a suitable location. They love bird houses as well.
Diet: Unlike other birds, Sparrows will not use a perch to feed. They enjoy scraps and seeds from the ground. Grain seeds and weeds are their favorite.
Habitat: Unlike most birds, swallows prefer large open areas rather then trees and shrubs to nest. They soar and dive into their living area, rather then perch.
Nest Needs: Swallows love birdhouses, hollow trees, and some even nest under porches and eaves. These birds use mud and grass materials to build their nests.
Diet: Swallows are insectivores. They eat hundreds of moths and mosquitos a year. Limit pesticides to bring these birds to your garden.
All birds need a fresh water source. Bird baths provide a place to drink, but also perch and groom. Make sure to change the water once a week to keep it fresh.
For information on attracting birds to your yard, talk to our experts at any English Gardens location.