- Research birds in your area. Find out what types of birds live in your area or are likely to come to your property through migration.
- Choose a bird feeder. The type of feeder you choose will influence what bird species you attract. No matter what, your bird feeder should have a few essential qualities: it should be difficult for squirrels to access, it should keep food dry, and it should be easy to clean. For example Tray feeders, House feeders, Window feeders, Suet feeders, Tube feeders.
- Provide seed and other food. Birds will be attracted to your yard if you offer them food. It’s a good idea to have more than one type of feeder and to offer a variety of food. You will inevitably bring less desirable birds – common sparrow, pigeon, or crow – but with good seed choice, you can maximize your target birds.
- Know what foods to avoid. Birds can easily be poisoned by food that is contaminated or contains hard-to-digest ingredients. Be sure to buy high-quality seed or suet.
- Install the feeder in a safe location. If you want the feeder to be near enough for you to view it from your house, place it within three feet of your window. Placing it further away is dangerous for birds, since they are more likely to collide with a window. The feeder should also be far enough away from tree cover to prevent squirrels from reaching the feeder from a tree.
- Maintain the feeder. It is important to change the food frequently and clean the feeder with soap and water every few weeks. Otherwise, bird droppings, fungus, and bacteria can contaminate the feeder and the food, potentially sickening birds. Be particularly vigilant during wet weather, when damp food is more susceptible to mold.
2. Creating Nesting Spots
- Plant native trees, shrubs, and plants. Native trees, shrubs, and plants are more likely to attract birds than non-native trees, shrubs, and plants. A variety of native trees, shrubs, and grasses will also provide natural shelter and cover for birds.
- Build a birdhouse or nesting box. Different species nest in different places, so it is a good idea to conduct research on the type of bird you wish to attract.
- Create a nesting site using natural materials. If you would like to create a more natural nesting spot, an easy way to do it is to allow your yard to grow a bit wilder. Let the grass grow in a certain spot or build a brush pile. This simulates the type of habitat where birds nest in the wild.
3. Making Your Yard More Inviting
- Provide a water source. Birds are attracted to the sound of dripping or moving water. You can buy a birdbath or create a shallow pond with a fountain. Make sure it is close to the ground and not made of slippery material. If you are short on time or resources, hang a water-filled container with a hole on the bottom above a dish. Try not to place the water source near trees or bushes where cats might hide.
- Avoid pesticides. Pesticides are harmful to birds in more ways than one. First, they kill vital sources of food for some species. Second, the chemicals in the pesticides can be dangerous for birds to ingest.
- Keep cats and other predators away. Cats, snakes, raccoons, and rats prey on songbirds or their eggs, killing millions every year. No matter how hospitable your yard may seem, having a cat prowling around will act as a disincentive. Keep your cat away from feeding, drinking, and nesting areas if you are seriously interested in attracting birds.