Attracting birds to your yard has many benefits for both you and your garden. Birds provide hours of entertainment and many birds have beautiful songs. In the summer I enjoy being woke up at dawn to the sound of the birds.
Birdbaths and birdfeeders are a good way to invite birds to your garden. They also color into the garden. Birdbaths can be the usual design or you can get creative and build one of a kind garden art that will act as a focal point.
Birds need water all year long for drinking and bathing. Even cool climates have birds in the winter. Winter can be challenging for birds in the cooler climates. I try to make sure they have available water at all times in my zone 5 climate.
It’s also important to keep the birdbaths clean to prevent diseases. There are special products you can pour directly in the water that are safe for the birds and will help maintain a clean bath.
Remember to keep the feeders replenished. Birds become accustomed to being fed and empty feeders particularly in bad weather is stressful to them. Some birds also eat a lot of bird feed. Blue jays are a good example of that in my area. I try to have two feeders. One set up more for smaller birds and one for the larger birds. Unfortunately the bigger birds will try to chase off smaller birds so I try and keep them separated.
Deer and bears are attracted to birdseed, so consider this while placing feeders near your home. It may be wise to bring them in at night, particularly if you have a bear problem in the neighborhood. Bears can be very destructive when going after bird feeders! Squirrels are also attracted to the feeders and although they are fun to watch they can cause damage and are very messy. There are squirrel safe feeders available.My neighbors had a pile of branch clippings and brush near their small stream. The birds were attracted to this area particularly in the winter to shelter and protection. They would throw sunflower seeds near the pile to feed the birds and they would have protection while eating.
Dead or dying trees with cavities offer a natural place for birds and other small animals to live and feed. Fallen trees also offer a place to rest and seek cover. A secluded place in your yard where a tree, log or stump could be would offer protection to birds and could also be decorative.