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Birdscaping: Landscape Design to Attract Birds

By Edited Jul 25, 2016 0 0

Whether you're a hardcore birdwatcher or you simply enjoy the peaceful sounds of chirping in the summer, birdscaping is an excellent way to welcome your feathered friends into your yard. Birdscapes are special landscape designs which attract birds and even encourage them to stick around. By installing reliable sources of food and shelter, you'll create an irresistible bird heaven! Building this kind of bird garden isn't difficult, but there are a few key elements that you'll want to include in your garden plans. Follow these few simple steps, and you'll have hundreds of new little friends in no time!

Birdscaping
Credit: kfjmiller @ www.sxc.hu

Bird Baths & Bird Feeders

The core of any solid bird garden will be just what you'd expect: bird baths and bird feeders.  Baths provide a good source of water throughout the year and help to cool off from the summer heat. You might choose a fancy sculpted bath, or you can just put out a simple ceramic saucer filled with water. Feeders provide the most essential element of all--food! Birds could spend hours scrounging up a few dozen seeds scattered along the ground, or they can hit the mother load at your feeder! Again, you can search for some decorative bird feeders, or you can find several simple plastic ones in any pet or garden store. The great thing about bird baths and bird feeding stations is that they can be pretty cheap (if you so choose) and they're generally pretty simple to set up. They're also a perfect place to spot birds throughout the day. Start your birdscape off right and draw in any flyers-by with these wonderful amenities.

Fruit-Bearing Bushes

The next step to encourage birds to stick around in your garden is to plant a few good fruit-bearing bushes. The fruit on the bushes provides another food source to compliment your feeder. The twigs and thickets that fall off the bushes are perfect nest-building materials. And though you might not like to think about it, the bushes also make good homes for insects, which your little friends can eat and feed to their children. Fruit bushes are a superstore to a bird family! Some particular plants that will grow in most parts of the U.S. that you might try are Winterberry bushes, Bunchberry bushes, and Staghorn Sumac. Once you've got your feeders and a few fruit bushes, that'll give them something to chirp about!

Small Trees

With food and water taken care, your new friends are now really looking for a place to settle down. You can meet this need by planting a few smaller trees around the outside of your birdscape. These trees will provide additional leaves and twigs for building nests. Birds can also build their nests inside the trees. On really windy days, trees can break some of the wind and provide calm shelter for birds and their families. Certain types of trees also produce berries and attract insects, adding even more to the cornucopia of nutrition already in your garden. A few tree varieties that you can check out are Highbush Blueberry trees, Mulberry trees, and Serviceberry trees. Plant a few trees, and you'll add a massive apartment complex to your little birdie village.

Flowers

And now for the finishing touch--flowers! What's a garden without flowers? There are a few flowers which actually attract birds directly, but the main objective here is to attract more insects for food and just to make your garden look good. Some flower varieties like Sunflowers, Black-eyed Susans, and Goldenrod produce bountiful seeds which are great to munch on. Goldenrod also draws in more tasty insects. If you're interested in attracting hummingbirds, you can plant some Impatiens, Foxglove, or Hibiscus flowers. There are many more specialized things you can do to attract hummingbirds, but those are just some simple additions to widen your avian audience. Feel free to plant as many flowers as you like, provided you leave room for the other essential birdscape elements. With your bird feeder, fruit bushes, and small trees to satisfy the birds and flowers for your own viewing pleasure, you've completed your own little slice of bird paradise!

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