Birdwatching, or birding, is a wonderful hobby where you observe the physical characteristics and behaviors of birds. Conducting this hobby usually requires you to visit remote locations to see birds in their natural habitats but isn’t necessarily needed. Outfitting and adjusting what your garden provides for birds will attract a multitude of species, which in turn enables you to exercise this hobby from the comfort of your own home. In this article, I will tell you about the different ways you can attract those beautiful birds to your garden.
Plants that attract birds
Plants that provide food:
Food is what birds find the most enticing when they visit an area. Birds tend to remember areas where they could get food, and once they know this, they tend to regularly visit the area in hopes of finding a juicy snack. Plants that are known to be the favourites of birds are:
Sunflowers – Fully grown sunflowers attract many different bird species. Their seeds are a favourite for birds and are often used as a substitute for bird feed when using a bird feeder.
Daisies – Just like sunflowers, they provide birds with seeds when fully grown, but unlike the sunflower, the daisy is a perennial flower, which means they do not bloom once then wilt.
Holly – With over a hundred different species, ranging between small shrubs to massive trees, there will surely be a type of holly that can grow in your area. The English Holly is a great choice if you are planning to grow one. Not only is it easy to take care of, but it also provides birds with an abundant amount of berries once it matures, just make sure you place them in well-draining soil.
Plants with attractive colors
Even if a plant does not provide bird nourishment; the colors they show off catch a bird’s attention because they are hard-wired to look for certain colors which usually indicate food or a potential mate.
Plants that provide building materials
Birds that are building nests actively search for materials that they can use for said nests. Keeping natural debris like cut branches and leaves in your garden makes it easier for birds to pick them up, which results in more frequent visits.
If your garden has grass, then make sure you trim it regularly. The grass cuttings are a common material used in many bird nests. Make sure to leave your grass cuttings on the ground after trimming it down.
Other ways to attract beautiful birds to your garden
If you don’t want to place plants in your garden, then a good alternative to the above would be the following:
Bird feeders – Place bird feeders around your garden and fill them up with food that birds find delectable, like sunflower seeds, shelled nuts, or suet.
Ornaments with Bright Colors – Having colorful decorations or ornaments around your garden such as lanterns, wind chimes, or mini statues are good alternatives to colorful plants. Their bright colors incites a bird’s food finding instinct thus making them more likely to visit your garden.
Bird Baths – Birds often look for water when they are parched, need to clean themselves or reduce their body temperature. With this said, placing a birdbath in your garden will attract birds that are looking for water.
Bird Houses – Shelter is another thing that birds look for. Providing an area where birds can easily build nests and feel safe will help attract birds to your garden.
Perching Spots – Having a place in your garden where birds can temporarily rest or roost will increase your odds of being able to observe them in their most static state.
Keeping predators away
If a bird knows that a predator resides in a particular area, most likely it will actively avoid the said area. The most common predator birds have to be wary of in most homes is the domesticated cat. They are responsible for the most deaths of small animals in an urban landscape. If you have a pet cat, make sure they are almost always inside the house or a pet enclosure. Keep stray cats away by planting plants with strong scents like lavender or removing anything that gives stray cats a positive association with your garden.
You don’t have to trek long distances just to bird watch. In the comfort of your own home, with a little bit of patience and work, one can easily have birds go towards you instead.