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How to Attract Birds & Butterflies to Your Backyard

Food, water, and shelter—that’s all butterflies and birds need to consider your backyard a home. And the great thing is that what attracts them will beautify your yard as well!


  • Step 1: Hang a birdhouse Hang a birdhouse in a sheltered area.
  • Step 2: Hang a birdfeeder Hang a birdfeeder and begin feeding birds in the fall.
  • TIP: Fill your birdfeeder with different types of seeds, and you’ll notice different types of feathered friends flocking to it.
  • Step 3: Fill a birdbath Fill a shallow birdbath with a couple of inches of water.
  • TIP: If you live in cold northern climes, a plug-in heated birdbath is a great comfort to winter birds.
  • Step 4: Keep cats away Keep your kitty out of the garden! Cats and wild birds don’t mix.
  • FACT: Butterflies’ sense of taste is in their feet.
  • Step 5: Research Research plants and trees that are native to your area. Some may already be growing on your property.
  • Step 6: Plant for birds To attract birds, plant native plants and trees that produce berries and seeds, such as mulberry, sumac, and evergreen.
  • Step 7: Plant for butterflies To attract butterflies, plant native plants that produce nectar, such as butterfly weed, milkweed, and asters.
  • TIP: Avoid using pesticides, which can drive birds and butterflies away.
  • Step 8: Set out rocks Place large, flat rocks in sunny spots. Butterflies are cold-blooded and will come to these to warm up.

You Will Need

  • Gardening books
  • magazines
  • and websites for research
  • Seed- and berry-producing plants and trees that are native to your area
  • Birdbath
  • Birdhouse
  • Bird feeder

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