How To Make Your Backyard More Friendly For Birds

How To Make Your Backyard More Friendly For Birds

Do you want to connect with nature and bring a little bit of the great outdoors right to your doorstep? Look no further than backyard birding! Not only is it a fun and relaxing hobby, but it’s also incredibly beneficial for both you and the birds.

But why stop at just admiring the feathered friends from afar? By creating a bird-friendly backyard, you’re not only providing a sanctuary for birds, but you’re also reaping the rewards for yourself.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let’s dive into the world of backyard birding and learn about the importance, why you should create a bird-friendly backyard, and the benefits that come with it.

Provide Food and Water

Offering bird feeders is a crucial aspect of creating a bird-friendly backyard. There are several types of feeders available, each designed for specific bird species and their preferred foods. These include:

  • Tube Feeders: long, cylindrical feeders that dispense seed through small holes
  • Hopper Feeders: flat-bottomed feeders that hold a larger amount of seed and have a roof to protect it from rain
  • Suet Feeders: wire cages that hold suet cakes, which are made from a mixture of fat and birdseed
  • Nectar Feeders: red, circular feeders that hold nectar for hummingbirds.

In addition to choosing the right feeder, it’s important to select the appropriate type of birdseed. The options include:

  • Sunflower Seeds: high in fat and protein, sunflower seeds are a popular choice for a wide variety of bird species
  • Safflower Seeds: similar to sunflower seeds, but with a harder shell that some birds prefer
  • Suet Cakes: a mixture of fat and birdseed, suet cakes are a high-energy food that birds love during cold weather.
  • Peanuts: high in fat and protein, peanuts are a popular choice for birds like woodpeckers and jays.
  • Millet: a popular seed for sparrows and other ground-feeding birds.
  • Nyjer Seeds: also known as thistle, this tiny black seed is a favorite of finches.

By offering a variety of feeders and birdseed, you can attract a wide range of birds to your backyard and provide them with the essential nutrients they need to survive.

Providing a Water Source

In addition to providing food, it’s important to also offer birds a clean source of water. This not only helps birds stay hydrated, but it also provides a place for them to bathe and preen their feathers.

There are two popular options for providing water in your backyard – birdbaths and fountains.

Birdbaths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, from shallow dishes to elaborate pedestal baths. It’s important to choose one that is the right size for the birds in your area and to keep it clean and filled with fresh water.

Fountains are a beautiful addition to any backyard and not only provide water for birds, but also create soothing sounds and add a touch of tranquility to your outdoor space. There are many types of fountains to choose from, including solar-powered, electrical, and manual options, so you can find the perfect one to fit your needs and style.

Offering Natural Food Sources

When it comes to providing food for our feathered friends, offering bird feeders is just the beginning. To create a truly bird-friendly backyard, it’s essential to offer natural food sources as well. Not only does this provide birds with a diverse diet, but it also helps support the entire ecosystem in your backyard. Here are two ways to do just that:

  1. Planting Native Flowers: Did you know that many species of birds rely on native flowers for their survival? By planting a variety of native flowers, you can provide not only food but also shelter and nesting sites for birds. Whether it’s black-eyed Susan, cardinal flower, or coneflower, these flowers will not only add beauty to your yard but will also attract an array of feathered friends.
  2. Offering Berries and Fruits: Another way to offer natural food sources is by planting fruit-bearing shrubs and trees. Not only do birds love eating the berries and fruits, but they’ll also appreciate the shelter these plants provide. Whether it’s mulberries, raspberries, or elderberries, your backyard will be a haven for birds, and you’ll have the pleasure of watching them feast on the sweet treats you’ve provided. So, get planting and watch your backyard come to life!

Providing Shelter and Nesting Sites

Install Some Birdhouses

In addition to providing food and water, creating a bird-friendly backyard also means offering shelter and nesting sites for your feathered friends. A great way to do this is by providing birdhouses, which offer a cozy and safe place for birds to call home.

When it comes to birdhouses, there are a variety of types to choose from – each with its own unique features and benefits. Whether you’re looking for a simple wooden birdhouse, a rustic and natural-looking option, or something more decorative, you’re sure to find the perfect birdhouse to suit your style.

But choosing the right birdhouse is just the first step. Placement is key! Consider the bird species you’re hoping to attract and research their preferred habitat. Do they like to nest in open or shaded areas? Are they attracted to tall trees or low shrubs? Answering these questions will help you determine the ideal location for your birdhouse. And before you know it, you’ll have a thriving bird community right in your own backyard!

Planting Native Trees and Shrubs

Creating a bird-friendly backyard involves more than just offering food and water. Providing shelter and nesting sites is equally important for our feathered friends. And one way to do that is by planting native trees and shrubs.

These plants not only offer berries and seeds, but they also provide essential shelter and nesting sites.

When selecting native trees and shrubs, think about the specific needs of the bird species you’re trying to attract. Some birds prefer dense shrubs for cover, while others prefer tall trees with thick branches for nesting.

By including a variety of native trees and shrubs in your bird-friendly backyard, you’ll create a diverse habitat that will attract a variety of bird species.

Creating a Safe Environment

Reduce Glass Reflections

Creating a safe environment for backyard birds is just as important as providing food and shelter.

One of the biggest threats to birds is window collisions. The reflection of trees, sky, and even the interior of your home can confuse birds and cause them to fly into windows, resulting in injury or death. To reduce glass reflections and protect birds, there are a few simple solutions you can implement.

One option is to install window film.

This film is specifically designed to reduce reflections and make windows visible to birds, reducing the risk of collisions. Another option is to use decals, which are easy to apply and come in a variety of designs that can make windows more visible to birds. Both window film and decals are simple, affordable, and effective ways to create a safer environment for birds in your backyard.

Reducing Cat Predation

When it comes to keeping birds safe in your backyard, reducing cat predation is a key consideration. While cats may look cute and cuddly, they can be a real danger to birds. But don’t worry, there are a couple of things you can do to keep your feathered friends safe.

First and foremost, consider keeping your cats indoors.

Not only will this reduce the risk of bird predation, but it will also keep your cats safer, too. Birds are armed with beaks and claws, remember that larger birds could hurt your cat.

If you’re not able to keep your cats indoors, or there are cats in the neighborhood consider installing barrier devices like bird spikes to keep the birds off ledges or walls that cats can reach.

You could try planting certain plants, such as lavender, lemon thyme, and rosemary, have strong scents that cats find unpleasant and may help to deter them from your bird-friendly backyard.

Encouraging a Diversity of Species

Attracting a diverse range of bird species to your backyard not only provides you with the opportunity to admire a wider variety of birds, but it also helps to support the local ecosystem.

Planting a Variety of Native Plants

By planting a variety of native plants, you can create a food source that appeals to many different bird species, which can result in a thriving bird community in your backyard.

A woodland area, for example, can be created by planting trees, shrubs, and other vegetation that provides shelter and nesting sites. Wetlands can be created by adding a pond or bird bath to your backyard, which provides a source of water for birds to drink and bathe in. Grasslands can be created by maintaining a lawn that is free from pesticides and is kept trimmed at a reasonable length.

By creating a diverse range of habitats, you can create a backyard that is not only beautiful but also provides an important source of food, shelter, and nesting sites for a wide variety of bird species.

Creating a Diversity of Habitats

Another way to encourage a diversity of species is by creating a diversity of habitats. These habitats can include woodland areas, wetlands, and grasslands. By providing different types of habitats, you can attract a wider range of bird species, each with their own unique behaviors and habitats.


A woodland habitat, for instance, can be created by carefully selecting and planting native trees, shrubs, and other vegetation that can provide shelter and nesting sites for birds. This area will also provide birds with protection from the elements and a place to search for food and insects.


Wetlands, on the other hand, can be created by simply adding a pond or bird bath to your backyard. These water sources not only serve as a source of hydration but also provide birds with the opportunity to take a refreshing dip and clean their feathers.


Grasslands can be created by keeping mixed grasses and meadow flower lawn that is free from pesticides and can be trimmed to a reasonable length. This type of habitat provides birds with a place to forage for insects and seeds and is ideal for ground-dwelling species.


In conclusion, by following the steps outlined in this post, you can create a backyard oasis that will attract a wide variety of bird species. Whether you choose to focus on providing a source of food, water, shelter, or a safe environment, every little effort goes a long way in helping birds thrive.

So why not get started today? Even if you have a small balcony or just a windowsill, you can make a difference in the lives of birds. Remember, every bird species has unique needs, so be sure to research which types of birds are native to your area and what they need to survive.

For those who are eager to learn more about birding, there are many resources available online and in local communities. From bird watching clubs to online forums, there are countless opportunities to connect with fellow bird enthusiasts and gain knowledge from experienced birders.

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