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How to Make Your Backyard a Bird Haven

Quit hogging your own backyard. Make it a haven for your fine feathered friends.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Identify plants & trees Identify which plants and trees in your yard already attract local birdlife.
  • Step 2: Add native trees, bushes, & flowers Add native trees, bushes, and flowers that provide seeds, berries, or nectar for wild birds. Consult your state’s horticultural or Audubon society for suggestions, or ask a local nursery.
  • TIP: Think twice before getting rid of dead or dying branches and stumps, which provide shelter to many birds. Consider adding logs to your landscaping.
  • Step 3: Include water in your yard Include water in your yard—a birdbath, fountain, stream, or pond will do the trick.
  • Step 4: Replace lawn w/ wildflower meadow Consider replacing some of your lawn with a wildflower meadow. Even a small patch of wildflowers and tall grass will attract wild birds.
  • Step 5: Hang bird feeders Hang bird feeders close to trees so birds can be sheltered—and ideally in sight of a window, so you can enjoy watching them.
  • Step 6: Build or buy a birdhouse Build or buy a birdhouse and then put it up. Check with your local library, fish and wildlife department, or Audubon group to see what birdhouses suit your local species.
  • TIP: Keep your cats inside. It is estimated that house cats cause up to 100 million bird deaths each year in the U.S.
  • Step 7: Leave nests in place If a bird builds a nest in your yard, leave it in place even after the babies have flown. The birds might return next year.
  • FACT: A study by the National Audubon Society showed that many common birds, from meadowlarks to field sparrows, have recently suffered major population declines.

You Will Need

  • Undisturbed trees or shrubs large enough to provide bird shelter
  • Native plants that provide seeds
  • berries
  • and nectar
  • A water source such as a stream
  • pond
  • or birdbath
  • Wildflowers
  • One or more bird feeders
  • Birdhouses matched to your local species
  • Logs

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