backyard building blocks

Attracting Birds to Your Backyard

December 20th, 2022

Cardinal cover

We love seeing the many kinds of beautiful birds outside in the warmer months, but when the cold weather arrives you may notice an increase in visits from those that don’t migrate away. Remember that their resources for food and shelter become sparse so it’s important to care for the wildlife that adds to our outdoor pleasure even when it’s too cold for flowers. This month we’re sharing some tips for attracting “snow” birds to your backyard during the doldrums of winter.

Create a Feeding Station
Bird feeders are an easy way to attract more feathered friends to your yard. One size does not fit all here, however, as birds have a variety of preferences when feeding. Tube feeders are a great option for finches and chickadees while cardinals and grosbeaks would favor hopper styles. Tray containers will keep doves and sparrows happy in every season. Even though birds become less territorial when the temperature drops, it’s still a good idea to space food stations four to five feet apart so that your guests feel more welcome and unencumbered.

Location, Location, Location
Try placing your feeders in diverse locations and heights to appease the partialities of the types of fowl in your area. Attract finches and cardinals by adding a little natural cover like larger shrubs or smaller trees and hanging well off the ground, away from possible predators, but not much higher than you can naturally reach. Suet and tree top feeders, the favorite of chickadees and woodpeckers should be hung as high as you safely can suspend them. Ground feasters, like sparrows, gravitate towards low platform food sources surrounded by more natural landscapes.

Perching sticks offer a secure place for birds to rest, preen and scan the area. If you’re yard doesn’t have many trees, installing a couple of landing spots will not only attract wildlife, but will add allurement to your winter landscape. Many styles and colors are available at your local garden center or online. For best results, keep feeders and perching sticks away from areas where pets or people congregate.

Add Tempting Treats
Bird species also have diverse nutritional needs, so including a variety of options will not only entice them, but also meet their sustenance and help them to stay healthy. Try different kinds of commercially available seed blends along with suet, jellies, peanuts and even mealworms to attract a varied group to your backyard.

Make Your Home Their Home
Shelter plays a key role in making visitors feels protected so choose birdhouses of various sizes and scatter them outdoors, away from unwelcome prey. Roosting boxes are designed to trap heat and are larger than houses, so more birds can settle in together when the temperature falls. Having both choices will help birds and their offspring thrive all year long.

Bright Colors
Birds have an extremely well-developed sense of color. In the warmer months, it’s easy to add hues with your plantings. During winter, get creative with brightly colored feeders, houses and decorations in your yard. Even inexpensive items like ribbon will work. Birds are generally attracted to their own shading, so keep that in mind while you decorate.

Just like us, birds need fresh water year-round. Adding a birdbath or even just a small dish of water will be appreciated by every species. Heated birdbaths will keep water from freezing in the winter, but you could just as easily change the water daily and remove any frozen blocks.

No matter your pick, keep feeders, homes and baths clean to ensure that your new friends remain well all year round. Following these tips will not only keep your new friends in good condition, but also add to the beautification of your surroundings. Birds can be quite striking and a joy to observe during the winter amid natures majestic icy whisper. So make a nice cup of hot chocolate and enjoy your feathery guests!

It’s important to care for the wildlife that adds to our outdoor pleasure even when it’s too cold for flowers. We’re sharing some tips for attracting “snow” birds to your backyard.