How Can I Prepare my Yard to Attract Wild Birds?
Spring is the peak season for bird watching. Birds are returning to yards to build nests and mate after their long migration. Make sure your yard is ready for these feathered friends by completing this checklist. Our spring checklist includes items that birds will love to help you attract more visitors. It will help you remember to do the things that can easily be forgotten like providing nesting material.
Different regions of the U.S. will see different birds, but in general, spring is when birds are settling into yards and preparing to make a family. These items below will make your yard and the items you provide welcoming to birds as they migrate back home from the south.
1. Provide Clean, Running Water
Birds risk dehydration during their migration. The long trip means they will be returning home very thirsty. This spring, ensure you have clean water in your yard in a bird bath or water fountain for the birds. Better yet, offer a heated bird bath or running water to make sure the water doesn’t freeze on the few cold nights in spring. Water is an essential resource for birds’ survival. When picking a yard for their nest, they look for areas that are abundant in resources. Ensure that your yard has this resource for them!
2. Fill Feeders Daily
Keep your bird feeders full for the many new visitors this spring. Similar to water, this is an essential resource for birds when picking their home for the season. When birds know about a food location, they begin to depend on that food being available. If there are a couple of days when the feeders are empty, birds will be forced to look somewhere else and won’t continue to frequent your yard.
3. Put out Bird Houses
In some regions that get snow, birdhouses are put away over winter. Spring is the time to take out those bird’s houses as birds are looking for a place to call home. Some birds will build nests in other areas, but offering birdhouses is a great way to provide shelter to your favorite species.
4. Clean out old Nests from Last Season
As the snow melts and you spend more time outside, take a look at old nests from the previous year. These old nests that are no longer being used can be removed and properly disposed of. Birds will know that they need to build a new nest each year. Old nests can also be blocking good tree grooves or birdhouses that birds will want to claim for their new nest this spring.
5. Provide Nesting Material
Offer your backyard birds nesting material to help them with the process of building a home for their family. The best materials to put out are feathers, string, yarn, tiny twigs, dried moss, and pet fur. Some people put out a basket of these materials. You could also use an empty suet cake holder.
6. Plant Flowers and Trees that Attract Wild Birds
Those of you that garden in the spring, take into consideration the birds! Plant some trees, flowers, or bushes that birds will love. Plants that are known to attract birds in the spring include Bachelor’s Buttons, Baptisia, Buckeye, Butterfly Weed, Camellia, Cherry trees, Foxglove, Fuchsia, Pine trees, Red Buds, and Viburnum.
Get ready for those birds and start checking items off this list!