Did you know that the hobby of bird watching is growing? It is. More and more people are donning their binoculars, grabbing their bird identification books and drawing pads and enjoying these ancient little creatures. You can enjoy birds without leaving your backyard too. Simple steps can help you create a bird friendly back yard.

Birds Need Three Key Things

Birds require three important features. They need water. They need food. And of course they need to feel safe and secure. Let’s take a look at these three things individually.

Water for Birds

To create a bird friendly back yard you’ll want to make sure you provide birds with a source of water. The water feature you add may depend on the size of your back yard. You might consider adding one or two small bird baths. Birds love to splash around in bird baths and placing one or two of these in your yard in a secure area where they feel safe will help attract birds.

Most birds prefer the raised bird bath because it is safely off the ground where they feel vulnerable. However, you can also attract birds by providing a ground level water feature. For example, a small fountain or a pond will attract birds.

Food for Birds

The second thing to attract birds is food. Of course this can be a tricky endeavor. Squirrels, chipmunks and other mammals and rodents are more than happy to feed themselves from your bird feeders. You can find bird feeders that are “squirrel proof.” Read the reviews on any feeder. Some that claim to be squirrel proof aren’t.

Also, take a look at the birds that are native to your area. What do they eat? Fill the feeder with their desired food. If you’re looking to attract several different types of birds you may need to install a few feeders in your yard. If you live in an area where there are humming birds, buy or build a humming bird feeder. They’re amazing to watch!

Habitat

A yard that is free from trees, shrubs and other protection will not attract birds. Make sure your yard provides plenty of cover. Combine tall trees, both evergreen and deciduous, along with shrubs to give birds a place to hide or congregate safely. Look to create a perimeter of trees and plant shrubs in front of that tree perimeter.

Birds love shrubs and bushes that have berries so consider raspberry bushes, mulberry trees and crab apple or cherry trees. They flower in the spring and are a delight to have in your yard and the birds will clean up the fruits and berries so you don’t really need to worry about the mess. Also consider planting a flower garden to attract hummingbirds.

When you combine water, food and shelter you will most certainly attract a back yard full of birds. Grab your binoculars and your bird identification book and have fun!

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