Gardening

Garden accessories to attract birds and nature

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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bird bath
Birds love to take baths so provide them with a bird bath
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Do yourself and nature a favor: Use garden accessories that attract birds

Yes, you can learn to coax birds and butterflies into your yard with garden accessories that attract flying creatures, which not only will provide you with entertainment, but helps control pests, facilitates the seeding and pollination of your garden and adds to the appeal of your property. Furthermore, you are doing something worthwhile. The National Audubon Society reports that the 20 birds on the Common Birds in Decline list have lost at least half, and maybe more than half, of their populations in the past 40 years due to industrial and residential development. If homeowners can attract birds to a garden, habitats that are nature-friendly are increased.

Birds like water. In fact, most birds cannot resist it. Install a fountain or bird bath and this will surely attract a variety of winged species. When choosing yard and garden products, consider that adding water accessories to your fountain or bird bath will attract even more birds. Essentially, water features are a magnet for wild birds.

A water wiggler, for example, can be added to your bird bath. It creates continuous ripples in the water, which prevents breeding mosquitoes and the spread of the West Nile Virus because stagnant water is eliminated. Furthermore, mosquitoes cannot lay eggs in the birdbath because of the moving water. If you want birds in the wintertime, add a heater to your birdbath or other water feature.





Add a dripper, one of many appealing outdoor garden decorations that allow the water supply to be constantly refreshed in your birdbath. It also creates movement and noise, which attracts birds to a garden. The dripper stands next to the bird bath and connects to a hose or faucet.

Install a mister. You can attach it to a garden stake, a small tree or to a shrub and aim it at foliage. This mist is comparable to a fine rain and the birds love it. The birds that are particularly attracted to mist are warblers and hummingbirds. When the mister gets the foliage wet, birds can take a leaf bath by rubbing up against the wet leaves. If the wet foliage is situated above a bird bath, the water dripping from the leaves into the water creates rippling water. The misted leaves will glisten in the sun, which attracts birds from long distances because they can see it when they are flying above.

If your lawn is healthy that will attract the kinds of insects and worms that birds will seek out.

Birds like shrubs and berry producing trees so plant them if you want to attract birds to a garden. Birds also like marigolds, petunias, sunflowers, Sweet William, blueberries, nasturtium and climbing vines such as muscadine, morning glories, trumpet creeper and coral honeysuckle.

Of course, you need a bird feeder but, most importantly, you need to purchase the right kind of bird feed to attract birds to your garden. If a bird stays in the north during the winter it will eat seeds because insects are hard to find in the winter. Buy black oil sunflower seeds, which are a favorite of purple finches, gold finches, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice and chickadees. Put the sunflower seeds in a hanging feeder because this will make it a little more difficult for raccoons and squirrels to get to it. Black sunflower seeds are preferable to the gray and white sunflower seeds that people eat because they are softer shelled, higher in oil content and less expensive. Goldfinches love nyger, which is a black seed that is tiny and light.

Squirrels do not like safflower seeds but most birds do. Safflower seeds are very bitter. Blue jays, starlings and grackles, however, do not care for this type of seed. Birds adore suet. It is a solid fat that comes from venison and beef. It gives birds concentrated energy so that they can make it through the freezing days of winter. Woodpeckers particularly like suet.

If you want to keep squirrels out of your bird feeders buy a seed blend that contains habanero chili oil with the seeds that birds like. Squirrels will not touch it but chickadees, woodpeckers, buntings, grosbeaks, cardinals, bluebirds and goldfinches will flock to your bird feeder.

In planning an outdoor environment that will attract birds to a garden, you will also find that attracting butterflies to your garden is easy if you plant native wildflowers, nectar-producing flowers and larval plants. If you have sand filled puddles and sunny, warm spots in your garden, butterflies will come. Plant your flowers so their blooming time is staggered, which encourages the continued presence of butterflies.

Resources:
How to Attract Birds
A Birds World
Wild Birds Forever
This Old House: How to Create a Wildlife Friendly Habitat Garden

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