Dec 102009
Garden Bird Feeder-Our First Snowbirds in 2009Chicadee at the Garden Bird Feeder

Chicadee at the Garden Bird Feeder

We filled up the bird feeder and sat down to write the Christmas cards. Soon we were spending more time watching the birds at the garden bird feeder than writing cards! It’s always fun watching the birds after the first snowfall. Share your stories with us.

Nov 142009

You’re dreaming of starting your first garden bird feeder.  You are looking forward to sitting back and enjoying all the beautiful birds that will be attracted to your garden bird feeder. You’re picturing all the beautiful blossoms that the birds will be enjoying.  It’s the perfect time of the year to plan a beautiful garden bird feeder.  You don’t need a large yard to set-up a beautiful and decorative garden bird feeder.  The following facts will leave you with  a bird-friendly yard and a natural setting that will be as pleasing to you as it will be for the wild birds.

Establish a bird sanctuary in an area that allows a safe landing site for the birds.  Allocate a spot for your garden bird feeder near trees or shrubs.  Remember, the landscaping doesn’t have to be elaborate.  You may already have a place that has shrubs and trees that you can expand on.  Birds will use the trees and shrubs for protection from predators.  The trees and shrubs will supply the birds with a range of nesting material and nesting sites.  Grow a variety of trees and plants that will yield year round food like berries and seeds that will ripen at different times throughout the year.  Allow a portion of your manicured grass to grow higher by your garden bird feeder.  The higher grass areas provide the birds with an assortment of insects.

A variety of plants will supply the best benefits for the birds.  Consider adding native and summer fruiting plants close to your garden bird feeder.  The food produced by these plants will be well suited for the wild birds that live around you.  Birds feed on a variety of insects that are found on the plants.  Flowering plants produce seeds which is a favorite food source for finches, sparrows and other songbirds. Wild birds come for the seeds more than the blossoms. Remove plants in your garden bird feeder that are not supplying food in favor of plants that do.

Planting flowers is an easy way to attract wild birds to your garden bird feeder. Birds are attracted to your garden bird feeder by numerous types of flowers. Plant flowers that are native to your area.  Hummingbirds will be drawn to the garden bird feeder by red flowers.  Other birds will come to your garden bird feeder for sunflowers, daisies, zinnias and any other flowers with seeds.  This is why it is so important not to cut them down when they are done blooming, it’s the seeds that the birds love.

Actually, you can double the number of wild birds attracted to your garden bird feeder by supplying an adjacent water source.  A water source will even increase the number of different species of wild birds that will be stopping by for a drink.  All species of wild birds will stop at your water station.  Otherwise, you would miss the wild birds that are not attracted to the food source that your garden bird feeder is furnishing.  A bird bath is one of the easiest ways to entice more wild birds.  The bird bath needs to be cleaned and filled with fresh water frequently.  Remember, in the winter, the wild birds look for open sources of water.  By installing a heater in your bird bath you will be pleasantly surprised at the amount of wild birds flocking to your garden bird feeder in the cold months. If you are creating a natural bird sanctuary you could consider incorporating a small pond as your water source in your garden bird feeder.

This sounds like there is so much to do, but don’t be overwhelmed with it.  Start with trees, shrubs and plants that your yard already provides.  Plan the gradual transition of your garden bird feeder over several planting seasons.  It will give you something to look forward to every winter.  Plan and plant only the space that you will be able to easily take care of at your garden bird feeder.

You will find pleasure in the success of your garden bird feeder knowing that you have built a natural habitat and are helping to protect the environment.  Your careful planning of your garden bird feeder will have you enjoying the sights and sounds of the sweet songbirds.  They will enjoy their new habitat and will depend on it in all seasons to come.