It’s such a tranquil feeling to go out in your backyard and hear birds singing. You can get lost watching them glide from tree to tree.
The best way to get more birds singing and swirling about in your yard is to make it a bird friendly sanctuary.
Unless your backyard doesn’t have any trees or shrubs, you already have a place where birds like to visit. Now you need to create a place they will like to congregate.
You need to add more elements to your yard that birds like. Things such as bird feeders, houses, baths, trees, and shrubs.
Bird feeders come in many different styles and types. There are feeders that hang from tree limbs and post mounted ones. You can get feeders that are shaped like houses and platforms. There really is something out there to fit you and your yard.
Resistance to squirrels is one key feature you may want to consider. Squirrels will quickly snatch up all of the bird feed they can get. Squirrel resistant feeders use mesh cages that allow birds access to the feed and keep squirrels out.
Another key feature to consider is feed capacity. The more bird feed you can put in your feeder, the less often you will have to fill it.
If you are using a small feeder that is low to the ground or easy to get down, then the amount of feed you can put in it won’t be that much of an issue. But if your feeder is high in the air, and particularly if it is mounted to a tree or pole, the number of times you have to fill it will make a big difference.
The design of your bird feeder will also determine how many birds can feed at a time. A larger bird feeder will allow more birds to feed. But if you don’t have space or you don’t like large feeders, you can still have a feeder that can accommodate a bunch of birds.
Tier bird feeders
A tiered bird feeder is the right choice for you if you don’t want a large bird feeder, but want to feed a lot of birds. Tiered bird feeders resemble fountains. Tiered bird feeders come in a number of sizes.
A three tier bird feeder will give birds three different places to feed on one feeder. This will allow more birds to feed at one time. The birds will learn there is plenty of room.
As long you keep your feeder filled with bird seed, you will have many birds in your yard.
Birds love to splash around in puddles. They also need fresh drinking water to keep them hydrated.
Birdbaths are a great way to supply birds with a water source and attract them to your yard.
You might think any pool of water will work, but there are some designs that work better than others. You have to think about how birds bathe and drink in the wild.
Birds are used to bathing on the ground because most water they use is at ground level. They also bath in very shallow water.
Most birds don’t like to land on top of water. They are not designed to float on it or swim in it. If your birdbath is too deep, birds will not bathe in it.
You birdbath should also provide perches for birds to land on. This will give them a good spot to sit and drink. This is especially necessary when it is cold outside.
If you already have a deep birdbath or the design you like is deep, then you can make it more bird friendly by adding rocks or gravel.
Changing the water
You should keep your birdbath water clean. This requires checking and changing the water daily.
Dirty water can become contaminated and breed unwanted pests like mosquitoes. Contaminated water can be dangerous for birds that drink from it.
If you don’t want to or are unable to change the water regularly, then you might want to invest in a birdbath fountain. A birdbath fountain will keep water flowing and clean. Birdbath fountains can be powered by plugging into an outlet, batteries, or solar power.
What should your birdbath be made of
The base should be made of a durable, outdoor material. The base of your birdbath, though, is not as important as the bowl.
The bowl is where birds will spend their time drinking and splashing around. You can buy birdbaths with bowls made from many different materials. The materials you will find include plastic, stone, concrete, copper, glazed terra-cotta, and painted metal.
All materials used to make birdbaths should be easy to clean.
Plastic is probably the easiest to clean. It also can be very strong if good quality, thick plastic is used. Plastic will fade over time due to UV light exposure and water. Plastic can also warp in high temperatures. It can become brittle from constant weathering.
The biggest concern with plastic is how slippery it can be for birds. Plastic is slippery when it is dry. It is even more slippery when it is wet. If birds find themselves slipping, they will leave and not comeback.
You can add stones or gravel to give birds traction if you have a plastic birdbath. You can also add faux branches or other elements for birds to land on and drink water without having to get in the water.
Stone birdbaths are made two different ways. You can get them in solid stone or cast stone.
Solid stone birdbaths are less available in the market. This makes them harder to get and more expensive.
You can find cast stone birdbaths at your local garden store or online. They are available in many sizes and materials.
Cast stone birdbaths are made of fiber stone. Fiber stone is made of fiberglass, resin, and ground minerals. The minerals used are usually granite, sand, or clay.
Making cast stone birdbaths out of these materials makes them light weight and inexpensive. Cast stone birdbaths are as strong as concrete. They can be stained or painted to give them a unique look and to match your yard.
Concrete birdbaths are made from molded concrete. Look for lightweight concrete birdbaths. Ones made from heavier concrete will be harder to move and prone to breaking.
Concrete birdbaths are porous. This means you should seal it to help prevent mold and cracking.
You should seal it before adding water. The concrete needs to be dry when applying the sealer.
Concrete is a good choice because it is inexpensive. It also offers traction for the birds when drinking and bathing.
Copper birdbaths are pretty. They are also expensive. But, if you are up for it, they will make a great addition to your yard.
What makes them so beautiful is the patina that happens over time from the copper reacting with oxygen. You can stop patina from happening by coating the birdbath with a nontoxic sealer.
One of the benefits of a copper birdbaths is that it is naturally antibacterial, mold resistant, and corrosion resistant.
Copper birdbaths can be slippery, so you should place elements in the birdbath that will help them not fall into the water.
Terra cotta birdbaths are very affordable. You can even make one yourself.
Terra cotta is made from fire clay. It can be molded into almost any shape. This makes it ideal for making birdbaths.
Terra cotta does have some down sides. It is very porous and can be subject to mold growths. It also breaks easily if hit the right way.
You can take care of the porous issue by sealing it. You can keep it from getting broken by placing it in a spot where no one will run into it. This means also looking out for the terra cotta birdbath when you are cutting the grass. One good smack from your lawnmower could chip or even break the whole thing.
You can make your own terra cotta birdbath with a pot and saucer. Just fill the pot up with dirt. Then put the saucer on top. Fill the saucer with water and wait for the birds to come.
You can find birdbaths made of painted metal. These are usually made out of aluminum.
Painted birdbaths are relatively inexpensive. If good paint was used, it should last a long time. But, at some point you will have to repaint it.
Painted birdbaths tend to be slippery. You should add stones or gravel.
You can also find birdbaths made of iron and stainless steel.
If you want to invite birds to stay in your yard, you should install a bird house
Bird houses are good for birds that want to nest. When done right it gives them a safe place to lay eggs and bring their chicks up.
Bird houses should be made of wood. Wood is a good natural material that provides some insulation and protection from the element.
You shouldn’t use metal when buying or making a bird house. Metal gets very hot and can be very dangerous for birds.
Bird houses should be large enough for birds to make a nest. It also should be big enough for the chicks to move around and play.
Your bird house shouldn’t be too large. A large bird house can make birds feel unsafe. It can also give a place for other animals to fit and decide to use as a shelter.
The opening to your bird house should be just large enough for birds to fit through. This is very important for their safety.
Your bird house should be at least six feet off of the ground. You can hang it in a tree. You can also mount it on a pole, fence, or attach it to your house.
Put you bird house in a place where it is hard for predators to get to it.
There is a debate as to whether you should put nesting material in the bird house or not. The thought is that the birds will remove it before making their nest. It is believed that they would prefer to get their own nesting material.
While this may or may not be true, it certainly can’t hurt to place some twigs, leaves, or grass clippings inside to aid them.
Either way, you should clean out the bird house after a bird finishes nesting. This will make it inviting for the next bird.
Trees and other perches
Putting trees, shrubs, chairs, clothesline, tables, and other things birds can land on will make your yard very friendly to birds.
Birds like to fly around. Trees provide multi-levels for birds to fly up and down and have a place to land. Without these different levels, birds may quickly exit you yard as they try to move around. They won’t leave because they consciously want to leave. They will leave because there’s nowhere to land.
Many tree branches are at least 8 feet or more above the ground. Providing other mid-level and low level elements like shrubs, chairs, and clotheslines gives the birds many options to choose from.
Birds like this because they can play and get different vantage points to see what is around them.