Turning your backyard into a bird garden takes more than adding a birdhouse.

Like people, birds want to live in places where they feel safe, can get enough to eat and drink, and can build houses for their families. Read on to learn how to attract birds and make them feel at home in your yard.

Make your bird garden a go-to food source

English: Female House Sparrow, Bairnsdale Aust...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

To turn your bird garden into a year-round destination, make sure it’s a reliable feeding spot throughout the seasons. Adding edible plants for birds is a great way to attract them while also enhancing the look of your landscape. Early-blooming shrubs draw insects and are good sources of nectar in the spring. During summer and autumn, fruit- and nut-bearing trees and bushes attract hungry birds. In the winter, evergreens offer nourishing seeds and cones – as well as shelter.

Different birds like different plants, so incorporate a variety of vegetation into your landscape to attract a more diverse group of birds. Include plants for birds that are native to your area, as well as plants for other birds you’d like to entice. Before planting, use a tiller to cultivate the soil. Well-maintained tiller parts, including sharp tines, will help you turn the soil more easily and create an optimal growing environment for your new, bird-friendly plants.

In addition to blending edible plants for birds into your landscape, put out birdfeeders, and keep them stocked with different kinds of food. Seed feeders are great for attracting a variety of songbirds, while feeders filled with sugary liquids can be used to draw hummingbirds and orioles. To attract insect-eating birds – such as woodpeckers, chickadees, bluebirds and mockingbirds – try suet feeders. Suet is a high-fat food that typically comes in the form of a cake or block. It’s a great option for your bird garden in the winter when food is scarcer.

Your bird garden also needs to have a water supply. Moving water attracts the most birds because they can see and hear it from afar. Birdbaths and fountains are a great way to attract birds and add visual interest to your garden. In the winter, you can use a heater to prevent the water from freezing. No matter what kind of water source you choose for your bird garden, keep it clean without the use of chemicals.

Create natural shelter in your bird garden

squirrel eating from bird feeder

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Open areas are not as attractive to birds because they offer little shelter, food or protection from predators. Minimizing open space in your yard – with trees and densely planted areas – will create a welcoming environment for birds to roost and nest.

While it’s important to create lots of dense planting areas when you’re trying to attract birds, also make sure that you’re caring for the grassy space in your yard. Properly maintaining your lawn mower parts – by keeping blades sharp and replacing worn or damaged belts – will help you keep your bird-friendly landscape looking its best.