Birdscaping - The Natural Way to Attract Wild Birds
Birdscape Your Backyard bring beauty and grace to your garden and then
spend your free time enjoying your yard ... not maintaining it!
The concept of birdscaping is about creating a peaceful refuge from daily stress by providing a sanctuary that will attract birds by encouraging them to feed, nest and stay in your yard year-round.
Do you know the average backyard may be visited regularly by 15 or 20 different bird species. A bird friendly backyard can attract up to 60 more! To attract the greatest number of birds just provide at least one eachof these habitat elements ... food, water, cover and a place to rear young. Watching bird behavior brings us closer to the amazing wonders of nature.
Birdscaping ... that is, creating a bird garden ... will feature such greenery as bird friendly trees, shrubs and plants that provide natural sources for food, shelter and nesting. These elements are combined with placing man-made feeders, bird houses and bird baths to create an oasis.
With careful planning, and selecting the proper plants, you can not only create a haven for birds, but a low maintenance environment for yourself that will provide year-round interest, relaxation and enjoyment ... not year-round work!
See Bird Books for the best birdscaping books at the lowest prices.
The common birds flitting through our backyards seem like old friends. We get to know these special visitors as they accept our feeders and other resources we provide. It feels good to help these wild creatures and fosters relaxation and a feeling of contentment in our busy and hectic world. Helping birds is the reason we love bird gardening. Not only do the right plants draw the birds we want to see, but they beautify our landscape as well. Birdscaping provides a combination that is hard to beat ... beautiful birds and a beautiful yard!
When it comes to birdscaping plants, shrubs and trees there certainly is a wide choice. What should we plant becomes the question. You may find some counsel at your local nursery and they will have plants appropriate to your area. I live in an area that more than likely has more nurseries per capita than anywhere in the U.S. That's the good news. But even with these wonderful local resources I discovered they can't provide everything. That's when I opted to look on the Internet to see what I could mail order. I found a wonderful resource that has top quality plants and trees and even provides $20 off first orders. That special savings sure wasn't available locally. Using the Internet as an additional resource I was able to obtain some beautiful flowering plants I couldn't get at my neighborhood nurseries. Considering today's busy lifestyles obtaining some highly desired plants via the Internet may be a good alternative.
Native Plants are
Good Choices for Birdscaping
Birds rely on the resources that nature provides. Scientific research has proven that birds prefer certain native plants with which they have co-evolved. These plants provide fruits, nuts, insects, perches, shelter and nesting sites. They abound with all they need. Using this information as a guide it makes sense to incorporate some bird-attracting native plans as you landscape your bird garden.
Birdscaping by adding native plants helps mimic natural habitat that is rapidly being lost. It is the ideal way to enhance your yard for the benefit of birds and nature, in general.
Creating an Eden for Birds
A good place to begin birdscapingis by taking an inventory of the plants you have growing in your yard. You may discover you already have some valuable wildlife plants.
Next, you'll want to create some diversity. That can be accomplished by creating multiple layers of vegetation -- that is, plants that grow to different heights. Beginning at ground level with grass and ground covers, then increase the height with flowers, shrubs, small trees and large trees. Arrange smaller plants in front of larger ones. A tall border of trees on the perimeter will draw birds to your oasis.
Create a natural effect when planting ... group an odd number (3,5,7) of the same kind of plant in a natural looking way avoiding the "straight-line" look. An undulating line of plants looks more like a woodland than an urban landscape.
Another good idea is to select plants that will have mature fruit at different times of year providing food year-round for birds.
Try to choose some birdscaping plants that are native to your area. Your local county extension service, local gardening clubs, horticultural societies, nurseries or library are good places to learn what will work best in your garden. These recommended bird books related to bird gardening may also be helpful.
Common Plants for Bird Gardening Check with your local garden authority
for species native to your location
FLOWERS FOR BIRDSCAPING - Plant flowers that are visually attractive to you. Birds aren't attracted in the same visual sense that we are. They are attracted to the natural look. Plants that have an asterisk (*) by their name grow seed heads that can be left to dry to provide food. As birds become accustomed to eating in your yard they will develop a certain dependency on what they find there.
During the winter and spring months natural food becomes scarcer so provide seed, fruit and suet especially during these times ... as well as year-round.
Bird of Paradise
Red Hot Poker
Crimson Monkey Flower
Lily of the Nile
SHRUBS AND VINES FOR BIRDSCAPING - These mid-size plants provide hiding places, resting spots and quick cover from predators. Another major importance is the food they provide throughout the year. These plants mature and provide food at different times of the year, so by doing some planning your bird garden will help birds during every season. Shrubs and vines are also great for adding special interest to our gardens when planting them as backdrops, screens, barriers, hedges and background.
American Cranberry Bush
Jasmine (day/night blooming)
TREES FOR BIRDSCAPING - Trees provide shelter and safety for birds and a dense growth at the perimeter of your property will attract them. Some trees also provide food in the form of seeds, berries and sap. See trees with an asterisk (*) below for examples. Planting more than one variety of tree and mixing small and large sizes will form a backdrop for your shrubs and flowers. Different tree sizes will accommodate a wider variety of birds as roosting and nesting sites.
*American Mountain Ash
*Eastern Red Cedar
Rocky Mountain Juniper
Colorado Blue Spruce
FLOWERS FOR HUMMINGBIRDS - There are many flowering plant species available at your local nursery that draw hummingbirds. Hummers are highly attracted to tubular flowers that are red; however, they will visit flowers of any color. When choosing flowering plants for hummingbirds try to choose early, mid and late-blooming varieties. The best choice would be species native to your area.
We have hummingbirds buzzing all around our yard here in Southern California ... attracted to many of our flowering plants. However, we've found hanging baskets of fushias near feeders does a great job of drawing these little charmers to the feeders. The feeders are hung near our windows so we get some wonderful up close views. When placing feeders near windows it is recommended to camouflage the windows to avoid birds crashing into them. We use Window Alert with great success with hummingbirds, and they work as well to avoid other types of birds from striking windows.
Red Hot Poker
Say "NO" to Pesticides, Herbicides and Insecticides
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER - Don't use dangerous products such as pesticides, herbicides or insecticides in or around your
garden ... especially in the bird area. These chemicals are poisonous and can kill your birds and harm other wildlife. There are many organic products available to take care of all your gardening needs. It makes good sense to avoid the use of chemicals and we were interested in alternatives to protect the wildlife visiting our yard ... as well as our family, of course. Much to our delight we've found some great products that provide safe alternatives to manage our yard organically. Because good quality and cost management are important we're also happy to recommend Gardens Alive, an excellent organic gardening company as a helpful resource ...
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