(ARA) - Due to rising human population and suburban sprawl, land for bird habitats is decreasing. With the ever-increasing abundance of concrete and asphalt comes the disappearance of food sources and nesting grounds for birds. The good news, however, is that you can help.
Homeowners can do their part by creating a sanctuary for birds in their own back yards. By landscaping especially for our feathered friends, you can make a little bit of the world feel like home for birds.
Food is probably the most important factor to consider. When landscaping for birds, it's beneficial to have multiple sources of food. Feeding stations are guaranteed to attract birds to your yard. One way to satisfy birds' appetites is by providing feeders in your yard filled with clean, wholesome seeds and real fruits and nuts. Premium products, such as Wild Delight's Nut N' Berry, contain foods like pistachios, peanuts, cranberries and raisins and are a great choice for your feeders.
If you're worried about the leftover mess that can occasionally occur with feeders, try using a zero-waste bird food such as Wild Delight's Deck, Porch N' Patio to keep your outdoor living area clean. Don't have a bird feeder? Use a concave rock to place seed on. It creates a natural-looking feeding stop for lots of birds such as jays and tanagers.
Besides feeders, trees, plants and flowers all provide sources of food for birds to eat. Trees like mulberries, birches and maples not only provide seeds and fruits, but also attract and support a lot of insects that birds such as bluebirds like to snack on. Flowers such as sunflowers offer seeds that most birds love, while red bee balms and impatiens are some of the flowers that supply nectar for birds such as the hummingbird. Natural vegetation provides a number of food sources for your backyard buddies, but it's still a good idea to have multiple feeders as a guaranteed-to-be-in-stock food source.
Birds need to eat, but they also need water. Not only do water features add beauty to your yard, they serve a number of uses for your feathered friends and attract hard-to-get birds like warblers. Since birds have acute hearing, they can hear a drop or ripple in the water from a great distance away. Sprinklers, drippers, misters and hoses will all have birds collecting in your yard.
Remember, to ensure that the water features in your yard are safe for bathing and drinking; keep the water shallow. Birds feel safer in shallow water. It allows them to fly off quickly in the presence of danger. Use water features with rough surfaces rather than smooth ones in order to ensure secure footing for the birds. They won't go for a dip if they don't feel safe.
While food and water are essential to think about when landscaping for birds, shelter is just as crucial. It provides protection from weather and enemies, and offers a safe place to nest. Feeders and water features near shelter attract more birds because they serve as a safety outlet if an enemy should approach or bad weather closes in.
As a means of shelter, trees are one of the most important features to have in your yard. Not only do they provide food, but they offer an abundance of places for birds to nest and find shelter. Vines and shrubs like English ivy, honeysuckle and trumpet creeper provide dense growth, offering birds a great nesting area. It's also an excellent idea to put up birdhouses or nest boxes to attract birds such as chickadees and woodpeckers. One thing to remember: be diverse. Planting a lot of different trees, bushes, shrubs and hedges will attract a wider variety of birds and offer more options for shelter and nesting sites.
Landscaping may not have always been intended for birds, but now it can be. Put up feeders, plant vegetation, add water features and let your yard get a little wild. Put out the welcome mat to your feathered friends and let them know that in your yard, landscaping is definitely for the birds.
Courtesy of ARAcontent