Eco-Friendly Gardening for Birds
Eco-Friendly Gardening for Birds. Recently, birds are experiencing habitat loss and the overwhelming impact of climate change. Hazards for these creatures are also expected to grow over time. With all of these dangers lurking around, you can help by turning your garden into an eco-friendly environment to save birds.
Our feathered friends are known to be natural pest control. They can help you fight off unwanted insects in your garden by eating them. Not only that, they can also bring melodious sounds, lively colors, and graceful movements to your garden’s aesthetic.
Bird-Friendly Garden Tips and Tricks
Before you begin to work on your bird-friendly garden, it would be best to visit some natural areas nearby, like wildlife sanctuaries and parks. Doing so will give you an idea of what to plant in your eco-friendly garden. Furthermore, recreating a similar environment to the ones nearby is key to a successful bird-friendly garden. Below are some tips you can use to make your garden attractive to birds:
Choose Native Plants
As mentioned above, it would help if you take advantage of native plants that can provide visiting birds a good variety of food that can last throughout a year for migrating, wintering, and nesting birds. As you decide on what to choose, consider the following food groups for your avian neighbors:
- Fruits: Several small trees and shrubs offer berries that ripen at different times. Hence, you should include seasonal variety. Planting cherry and serviceberry for birds during summer and breeding season; holly trees and cedar to sustain birds throughout cold winter days and nights; spicebush and dogwood for songbirds going towards the south.
- Bugs: Maples, oaks, birches, willows, and herbaceous plants like milkweed, sunflowers, and goldenrod host a lot of caterpillar species that provide an essential source of protein for your feathered friends, especially during the breeding season.
- Nectar: Penstemon, native columbine, and honeysuckle can provide nectar for hummingbirds. Moreover, flowers in the aster family-like Joe-Pye Weed, coneflowers, and asters are irresistible to insect pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths besides providing seeds to birds.
- Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, hickories, and oaks can provide fat and protein-rich food that your feathered friends cache or hide to have food available throughout the winter. Furthermore, asters, sunflowers, and coneflowers produce many tiny seeds that are sparrow and finch favorites.
Spare a Dead Tree
Most of the time, birds perch in dead trees. They use this as a singing post to defend their territories. Besides that, it is also a great choice to leave several dead branches on live trees for perches. Moreover, dead trees also make a pretty good anchor for birdhouses.
Limit Your Lawn Size
A manicured or well-groomed lawn does not provide much for the habitat and food for birds. Moreover, they most likely contribute to other environmental problems connected to mowing, fertilizing, and the use of pesticides.
Throughout the United States, people are changing their yards’ composition and replacing it with native species. They do this by gradually replacing their monotonous green lawn with a more natural plant community that similarly looks like the woodlands or prairies that existed before. Furthermore, such changes are kinder to our avian neighbors.
Several people believe that grass is essential in the yard to serve as the kids’ play surface. If you are one of these people and you want to include a lawn in your yard, it would be best to look for the kinds of grasses that only need a little upkeep and are considered okay with children. Moreover, as your children grow, you might want to consider replacing the grass with other low-maintenance plants like native grasses, wildflowers, woodland groundcovers, and shrubs.
Install Nest Boxes
Most of the time, birds that nest in tree cavities lack suitable nesting places. This is because natural cavities are scarce. They are created when tree branches usually break off, and the wound from it does not self-heal, which allows the inner wood to rot.
Cavity-nesting birds usually rely on woodpeckers to create their roosting and nesting places. Woodpeckers most likely chisel into trees to feed themselves. This creates an opening that is sometimes enlarged for nesting by small cavity nesters such as titmice and chickadees. Furthermore, squirrels and large birds like the great-crested flycatcher might enlarge these holes even further.
To increase birds’ nesting population, it would be best to provide many kinds of bird nest boxes in your garden. This is a great substitute for natural tree cavities. Moreover, about 40 species of birds are known to raise their young in nest boxes. This includes purple martin, bluebirds, prothonotary warbler, and tree swallow.
Your nest boxes can be made out of wood. However, you should avoid using paint on the interior or wood preservatives since they can affect the young or the eggs. Furthermore, there are a variety of designs for nest boxes available; you can click here to check out www.birdinformer.com and find out.
Install Bird Feeders
Besides planting a bunch of plants that provide food for birds, it would also be a good option to install birdfeeders. When you do so, remember to buy the bird food from reputable sources. This will ensure that the seeds you buy can provide the right nutrients and energy your feathered friends need.
If you want to install bird feeders in your garden, remember that it also needs some cleaning from time to time. A dirty bird feeder might spread diseases that can cause illness or even death to other birds in your area. Moreover, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to this one.
Install A Birdbath
Besides food, water is also essential for birds, especially the seed-eating ones that usually have dry meals and need liquid to wash them down. Installing a birdbath can help these birds out. Furthermore, keep an eye out for the birdbath during winter; it might freeze and needs defrosting. In relation to this, remember not to use salt in defrosting because it might kill birds.
Turning your garden into an eco-friendly environment for birds is a great idea. They are a natural pest control that can help you eliminate unwanted insects in your garden. Not only that, but you are also providing these birds a new home. This means you are saving them and helping the environment as well.
Donald’s passion for bird-watching has continued to grow, and he shares his new hobby with his wife. They have created a haven for birds in their yard and often spend weekends hiking in nature looking for their favorite and more elusive birds. He shares his excitement through blogs and photos, and often creates content for various websites to spread the word about conservation, as well as tips and tricks to get the most out of this fun hobby!