How to Attract Backyard Birds: The Beginner’s Guide

If you been asking your self how to attract backyard birds here I have a beginner’s guide that will teach you step by step.

Birds such as swallows, robins, blackbirds, and hummingbirds are essential for a healthy garden. 

Whether as pollinators or as natural pest control, having birds among our plants is a sign that we take care of the biodiversity of our garden. 

Besides that, it is beautiful to hear the song of the birds every morning.

Living in an environment surrounded by animals is the dream of any naturalist, and using some simple tricks we can achieve it, whether you live in the countryside or a city or if you have a garden or just a balcony or a window sill .

There are several ways that can help you get the birds to your garden every day. 

So have a beautiful garden full of plants and birds.

A Feeder

This is one of the easiest ways to attract birds. 

Fruits, colorful flowers and rich in pollen (Honeysuckle, Petunia, Echinacea, Violets, etc.) are attractive to birds. 

If you put feeders for them, you will see how they arrive in the blink of an eye.

For the feeder to work it is good that you inform yourself about the endemic birds of the area where you live, in this way, you can know what their favorite seeds or fruits are.

You should know that food is the best claim you can offer a bird. 

Once they understand that your garden is a good place to eat, they will come back to get more.

You can use a feeder you find in a pet store, make your own homemade bird feeder or use a container that you consider appropriate. 

The feeder must have easy access for birds, but more complicated for squirrels or other animals. 

It should also be covered to prevent the seeds from getting wet when it rains.

The amount and variety of food you leave in your garden will directly affect the number of animals that go.

Although it is popularly believed that they should only be left with food during the winter, experts recommend doing so throughout the year.

Try to avoid foods with a high concentration of wheat, as they can attract mostly pigeons, which can harm more than benefit the fauna and flora of your garden.

Keep the feeder in good condition, change the food frequently and clean the feeder with water and detergent every few weeks. 

If you don’t, the feces of the birds, fungi, and bacteria will contaminate the feeder and the food, which will cause the birds to get sick. 

Be especially alert during periods of wet weather, when wet food is more prone to mold. 

For the same reason, and because it can attract undesirable animals, clean the food that has fallen to the ground.

Drinkers and bathrooms

Birds need places to bathe and water to drink. 

If you live in a warm and dry climate where there are few places for birds to drink clean water, you must install containers with water (you can recycle food containers that you no longer use).

If you can, install a small pond for them. The birds will be more attracted and explore the area.

Especially in summer, birds love soaking in small ponds or rivers, but it also helps them prevent and eliminate their parasites or remove dirt from their plumage.

It is important that you clean it often since when defecating and urinating in it the birds could get sick or stop coming.

Nests

By offering them a place where they can nest, the birds will stay close to your home. 

You can build your “houses” yourself, you only need recycled materials such as cardboard, and natural elements such as branches, grass, straw, etc. 

You can hang your tree constructions or on walls. 

If you have a pet make sure they cannot reach these nests.

Whether to procreate or simply to take refuge, birds love nests. 

You should make sure that the entrance hole is small enough so that they do not feel threatened in the presence of any predator. 

It should also be at a considerable height so that they feel safe.

If your garden is large and has tall, leafy trees where birds can build their own home, you just have to place the sources of water and food as close as possible to the branches.

If on the other hand, your garden is smaller and only has low plants and shrubs, you can make it easier for them by buying well-made nests, doing well yours and placing them in different strategic points of the land. 

The most popular materials are wool, paper and wood.

Suitable Environment

Even if you fill your garden with drinking troughs, feeders and bathtubs, the true home of birds will always be in trees. 

If in your garden you only have grass and an ornamental plant, your efforts are unlikely to bear fruit.

Start populating your garden with shrubs and bushes that attract smaller birds, such as starlings. 

The busier, the better, especially if you live in an area where there may be cats that can kill your new bird population.

Rosebushes, thorns and honeysuckle are some of the species with which you can start remodeling your green spaces. 

Any plant that bears fruit, especially if they are fleshy, will serve as a claim for the birds. 

Blackberry is one of the most popular wild plants.

Another trick that you can use to attract birds to the garden can be planting specific trees and plants. 

It is important to understand that they will feel comfortable in a habitat that they consider “natural.”

Some birds can feed on the nectar of some flowers or take refuge and look for food in certain shrubs. 

Here are some examples of plants to attract birds to the garden:

    Vancouver Jade

    Cornel

    Eleagno

    Forsythia

    Black alder

    Dwarf Honeysuckle

    Azalea

    Japanese yew

Do not disturb the birds

Being constantly hanging around the birds or moving the utensils is something you should avoid completely if you want to attract birds to the garden. 

Birds value tranquility, safety and comfort, so your presence will not help them want to settle in your garden.

We recommend you place the nests in a high place and use feeders or swimming pools with a large capacity, to approach the area as few times as possible. 

We also recommend cleaning or changing the seeds at the quietest times of the day, when they are not present.

Red for Hummingbirds

The hummingbirds love red, so it is a good strategy to have flowers of that color in your garden.

If you don’t like red or just don’t go with the rest of the shades of your garden, you can add red temporarily with silk flowers in between your other flowers.

Once the hummingbirds discover that there are more flowers with nectar in your garden (even if they are of other colors) you can take out the red flowers and they will continue to return to your garden.

Make your own nectar

You can attract many hummingbirds and birds if you serve them this formula in the drinking fountains. 

It is important to mention that this mixture only lasts a week, then you have to throw it away and clean the drinking fountain.

You need:

    1 serving of sugar

    3 portions of water

    A few drops of orange juice or extract thereof.

Instructions:

    Dissolve the sugar with water.

    Add orange extract or juice and stir.

    Empty in a trough or a special one for picaflores.

Special garden for hummingbirds

If you want to fill your hummingbird garden you can plant flowers specifically to attract them. 

Those that have a tubular shape, whether small like chilco or fuchsia or larger like copihues, are their favorites.

Its elongated shape is ideal to reach the nectar that is at the base. As we said before, red is your favorite but they also like purple and blue colors.

Some plants that can attract hummingbirds are: Sunflower, Agapanto, Fuchsia Magallanica, Delphinium, Copihue and Sigh.

Keep everything natural

The best thing you can do for your garden and its ecosystem is to use natural and organic products, do not use pesticides since it is not only harmful and almost fatal to birds, but also kill small insects that they feed on.

Offers gravel or gravel for birds

Birds do not have teeth and many depend on an organ called gizzard to digest their food. 

To work properly, the gizzard needs gravel (small pieces of sand, gravel or other small stones). 

You can help by providing insoluble gravel (such as small pieces of gravel) or soluble (such as jibión, powdered oyster shell or crushed egg shell). 

The eggshell serves another additional function, as it provides calcium necessary for incubation.

Use quality bird food

One of the biggest mistakes bird enthusiasts make is buying cheap food, typically from large sideboard stores or local stores. 

The problem with cheap food bags is that they are typically filled with many types of seeds that wild birds do not eat.

Although it seems that one will be saving money, in reality, it is wasting, because the food will end up on the floor without having been tested. 

How to attract backyard birds: most common tips.

Tips:

-Never use antifreeze in a bird fountain during winter. 

Antifreezes are very toxic and can kill any bird, animal or pet that drinks them, as well as causing a lot of harm or death to people. 

Instead, you can buy heaters designed to defrost sources or other water reservoirs.

You can also leave a tennis ball floating on the water to break the ice and remove it easily.

    

-Avoid disturbing the nests and the eggs they contain.

-Do not place birdhouses very close to each other. 

Birds can be very territorial and closeness can cause fights.

-Don’t sweep the leaves. Birds look for insects that hide in dry leaves in spring.

-Keep your feeders, birdhouses and water fountains clean.

-Don’t be discouraged if the birds don’t come to your yard immediately. Birds are usually very cautious about changes in their environment and take their time to adapt to new feeders or water sources.

-Stay as little time as possible next to the nests.

-Do not visit the nest during incubation.

-Offer them only seeds, fruit and vegetables, never any food of animal origin.

Conclusion

How to attract backyard birds?

It takes a lot of work, time and money to transform your yard into a habitat where birds want to visit consistently. 

But for me, this effort was worth it!

It is ideal to make sure that the seeds you buy are ideal for wild birds that live in your area, and so you make sure that the birds go to your garden to eat the seeds, and so they are not wasted.

Birds are beauty of nature and wanting to attract them to your garden is an important and incredible decision, since it is a process especially because the birds have their way of living and if we want them to go to our garden, we must adapt our garden so that the birds feel safe in the garden and go to the newspaper.

Following the steps and advice mentioned above, the birds will be attracted to your garden. You just have to have peace, because as I repeat the birds must feel safe to go to your garden recurrently.

The factor of pets is also important if you want to attract birds to your garden. 

That is why it is ideal not to let your pets out when the birds are visiting the garden, and in this way, they will not feel threatened and will return to your garden.

Remember that birds, in addition to enriching the biodiversity of your ecosystem, can help you feel more connected to your environment. 

Watching a bird, listening to it sing, takes you away, even momentarily, from the chaos of the city. 

Birds, gardens, and other natural aspects remind us that not everything is urgent, that there are more important cycles than those of our daily hustle and bustle.