With many people spending more time at home than ever before, birdwatching has never been a more popular hobby. And with so many people taking up birdwatching, many are asking the question: how can you attract birds in your backyard?
There are several different ways you can attract birds to come to your backyard, including installing special bird feeders, different types of flowers, and more! If you want to become the most well-versed on attracting birds in your group of peers, keep reading this article for all the information you need on how to attract birds to your backyard.
Install a Quality Bird Feeder
You saw this one coming. The first step you’ll want to take to attract birds to your backyard is to install a bird feeder in your yard, preferably several in different locations, to cater to the dispositions of different species of birds!
Birdfeeders are a great way to encourage birds to visit your yard regularly, as they come to expect a meal from you over time; this is the top motivator you can use to get birds to come to your yard.
However, while birdfeeders are the number one way to attract birds to your yard—there’s more to this than meets the eye. Let’s take a look at other ways you can elevate this step for the best results.
Invest in a Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
Squirrels can be a nuisance, to say the least. They eat our garden fruits and veggies, encourage our dogs to chase them down the street, and worse—they eat our bird feed. Squirrels eating your bird feed can mean there’s no bird feed left for the birds; it is called “bird” feed, right?
Even if your bird feeder’s placement seems inaccessible to squirrels, they can really develop some pretty creative ways to work their way to the food. You’ve got to give them credit for it—but at the same time, if you want birds to come around, you’ve got to control it, too.
Make Sure You’re Using the Right Birdseed
While it’s certainly easier to use birdseed that you find at convenient stops like your local grocery store, these are often low-quality bird feeds that don’t contain enough nutrients or cater to the varying diets of different bird species (some low-quality bird feed can even make your native birds sick).
If you really want to tempt them with food, investing in high-quality bird feed with various nutrients is a must. We recommend bird feeds that are all-natural and contain diverse ingredients, like this Lyric Fruit and Nut High Energy bird feed on Amazon, for the best results.
Ensure Your Bird Feed is Always Fresh
Say you don’t get many bird visitors, so the birdfeed you put in the feeder last week is still full. You may think it’s alright to leave it out for them until it disappears completely, but sadly, this is not the case—and it might even be keeping the birds away from your yard instead of attracting them.
Moldy or old bird feed can spread diseases and parasites to your backyard birds if you aren’t careful, and birds can sense whether the birdfeed is dirty or not; they’ll avoid it if it is. If you want to make sure birds come around often, replace your high-quality birdseed every 5-7 days. If you’re unable to purchase bird seed often, simply put less into the feeder each time.
Consider Installing a Bird Bath in Your Backyard
Birdbaths are another fantastic way to encourage birds to chill out in your yard—food isn’t all there is to it.
Birds are attracted to the sound of moving water, so if you can get your hands on a birdbath that makes water sounds instead of a stagnant one, that’s your best bet. You can even buy solar fountain inserts for your stagnant birdbath like this one on Amazon.
Another great benefit of this is that birdbaths are not only great for the birds, but they also look beautiful in your backyard as well—talk about hitting two birds with one stone!
Set Up a Few Birdhouses
Adding some birdhouses is another excellent way to encourage birds to not only visit your backyard but stay there long-term. Not every species of bird will utilize birdhouses, but many do.
Our best tip is to find a birdhouse with a significantly small opening. Sometimes, hungry squirrels can reach into birdhouses and harass baby birds, which is any birdwatcher’s worst nightmare.
Long or deep birdhouses like this deep-set one from Amazon can prevent squirrel arms from reaching bird offspring, too. Experiment with different kinds to see what your native birds like best.
Keep Materials Birds Can Use to Make Nests in Your Yard
Birds will be attracted to areas that have everything they need: food, water, and of course, materials they can use to nest with. Your backyard should allow birds to have access to these materials, so they’ll build homes in your yard and stay for longer.
If you live in a place that doesn’t naturally have these materials, you can gather them and leave them for the birds yourself. Try to leave out twigs, string, pet hair, and other similar items in your yard for birds to pick through and make nests with.
Plant Flowers and Plants that Attract Birds
Planting flowers or plants to attract birds to your yard works for two reasons:
- Birds are very attracted to specific colors (they’re one of few animals that see in color).
- Certain flowers attract insects that birds want to eat.
Plant warm-toned flowers like those with red, orange, and yellow to attract various backyard birds, or blue to attract bluebirds, blue jays, and blue finches specifically. Hummingbirds will be attracted to almost any type of flower.
Additionally, you will want to plant milkweed to encourage a healthy level of insects for your birds to pick through. Don’t stray from native plants either, as this is what your local birds will be most used to.
Keep Your Environment as Natural as Possible
When encouraging birds to visit your yard, it’s essential to make sure your backyard’s setup is as natural as possible.
This means leaving as many natural trees, bushes, plants, etc., as you can in your yard. Many bird species prefer privacy or are shy by nature and prefer to hang out in environments where they’re the least exposed. If your backyard looks like an open concrete block, the birds simply won’t feel as comfortable.
If you don’t have a natural, plant-filled backyard, invest in some outdoor plants, trees, and perching sticks for the birds to provide them with some cover.
If you enjoy the sound of birds singing in the morning or love to birdwatch, having birds frequently visit your backyard is a nice amenity to have with your home. However, contrary to popular belief, attracting birds to your yard is not as simple as putting out a basic birdfeeder; you’ll need to make sure the feeder is squirrel-proof and has fresh, quality bird feed.
If you want to increase your chances of attracting local birds, you may also need to plant bird-friendly flowers, invest in a birdhouse or birdbath, or try any of the other tips we mentioned above. That way, you can keep the birds coming to your yard for years to come.