11 Bird-Friendly Garden Ideas - Backyard Boss
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11 Bird-Friendly Garden Ideas

The best way to have a bird-friendly garden is to create an ecosystem that provides all the needs of a bird. This means a bird needs to find food, water, shelter, and habitat in your garden. This is easy to do and the result is always a beautiful garden teeming with life. Read on for 11 bird-friendly garden ideas.

1. Add Water

two birds drinks water
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Water is essential for life, and birds are no different. Having a simple dish filled with water is good enough to attract birds to your garden. Besides drinking, most birds love a good bath to get rid of dust and parasites, so make sure the water is shallow enough in some areas for birds to be able to stand

2. Feed Them

Feeding garden birds in winter
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Another really easy way to attract birds to your garden is to feed them. Different types of birds feed on different types of foods so you can choose what food to put out based on which birds you’re trying to attract. Seed for seed eaters and fruit for fruit eaters. Attracting insect feeders is a bit more complicated as you have to attract the insects first before the birds will come.

3. Provide Shelter

Bird's nest
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Providing suitable nesting sites for birds is an often overlooked way to attract birds to your garden. Appropriate nesting sites are getting harder to find, especially in urban areas. You could choose to leave a section of your garden untouched and allow the vegetation to take over. This will provide plenty of habitat for nesting birds.

4. Provide A Perch

Bird of prey perched
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Similar to the point above, birds love a safe place to perch and watch the world around them. You can provide an artificial perch for birds of prey if you’d like. Something tall and easy for a large bird to perch on. For the smaller birds, plant some shrubs and small trees to provide a place for them to perch.

5. Ditch The Lawn

bird wishing on lawn
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The thing about lawns is that they’re not the best for wildlife habitat. They don’t provide any shelter and they provide very little food, if any. If you love your lawn, consider planting a garden around its edges with a collection of native shrubs and to provide the necessary habitat for birds to live in.

6. Birds Love Diversity

Tui bird in plants on mount victoria
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The reason lawns aren’t great for habitat is that it’s too much of one thing. This rule applies to any vegetation, not just grass. So when you’re planning a bird-friendly garden, make sure you include a large variety of plants. Some plants provide habitat and shelter, while others provide food. Birds need plenty of both.

7. Provide Specific Nesting Sites

Owl nest
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Certain types of birds need very specific elements for a nesting site to be appropriate for them. For example, different types of owls have quite specific needs to be able to nest. Look into what owls you have in your area, what nesting sites they prefer, and whether you can buy or build one.

8. Native Plants

Bird in flower bed
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Native plants have co-evolved over centuries with the invertebrates that form the foundation of many birds’ diets. Planting the best plants and flowers for a bird-friendly backyard will quickly create an ecosystem where birds will thrive.

9. Don’t Rake

Fallen tomatoes
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People love to keep their gardens looking neat and tidy. The problem with this is that much of the vegetation that’s being swept away is what birds use to build their nests. Consider not raking, or leaving a pile of fallen vegetation out of the way but accessible in your yard for birds to use as nesting materials.

10. Don’t Use Chemicals

We don’t use any chemicals on our farm
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The thing about pesticides and insecticides is that they don’t discriminate. They might get rid of the insects you don’t want, but they will also get rid of the insects you do want. And with no insects in your garden, there’s no food for birds in your garden.

11. Create Microclimates

Bird eating insects
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Create as many microclimates in your yard as possible. These, in turn, create micro-habitats for many different types of insects and birds to live. Some examples include rotting logs, rockeries, stone walls, and earth banks.

Get the birds to flock to your yard

By following these 11 ideas above, you’ll have a bird-friendly backyard in no time. The main idea to grasp here is that you’re trying to provide a safe habitat for birds to thrive in. There’s not one thing you can do to make your yard bird-friendly, it’s more about creating a cohesive environment that will provide everything a bird needs.