There’s nothing better than gazing out on your property and enjoying the wonders of wildlife right in your backyard. In America, perhaps birds are the most common type of wildlife found in most areas of the States, and can be among the most beneficial and simplest to attract to your land. Not only are they beautiful creatures to observe with eyes and ears, they also help with pest and weed control, as well as flower pollination.
Here’s a go-to guide on how to attract birds to your land property.
A big part of attracting bird species that live in your area is making sure you have the right plants in the ground. According to Terra Wellington, environmental activist and author of “The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green,” birds may thrive on “trees and shrubs with flowers, fruits, and seeds, but it is important to seek out native plants for your landscape, so that you attract bird species that live in your area.”
If you need help finding native plants for your specific area, Terra suggests checking out The Audubon Society’s plant database. Terra also mentioned, “The directory provides you with your local Audubon group where you can obtain further information, education, habitat installation how-to’s, and information on where to buy native plants in your area.”
Along with having native plants on your land property, you will also want to ensure you have the right food to attract particular birds. The food a hummingbird is looking for is going to be drastically different than what a cardinal might be looking for.
Are songbirds what you are looking to attract to your land property? Steve and Heidi Mama, owners of two Wild Birds Unlimited stores, said to us, “For songbirds, use sunflower chips with or without the shell.” This should do the trick to attract them to your land. If it’s bluebirds you are looking for, Steve said to have mealworms on hand.
Some folks are big fans of the woodpecker. “Try [attracting the woodpeckers] with peanuts or seed blends with peanuts or you can actually mix peanuts into peanut butter and spread it directly on a tree,” says Steve. How cool is that?
Suet blends can also attract woodpeckers, in addition to nuthatches and other birds that thrive on fats. Orioles may prefer fruit chunks with oranges, melons, grapes, and apples. Nectar feeders and flowers, as well as berry bushes and seed-bearing flowers are a draw. Even kitchen scraps such as bread and rice may also do the trick for some species.
If you’re looking to buy specific seeds for the birds you want to attract, look for specialty shops such as Cole’s Wild Bird Products. The owner, Elaine Cole, told us, “Cole’s feed is sold at garden retailers nationally and is top quality, specifically formulated to attract certain varieties of birds, as well as large numbers of birds.”
Just like food and plants, the proper structures may go a long way in attracting bird species. “For bats and owls, you need a house designed for each and the right placement depending on your situation,” says Steve, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited. To make sure you place the bat house in the best possible spot, place it about 15 feet off the ground and in a location that receives sunlight for the majority of the day. Having bats on your land property is a great organic way for insect control. Bats love insects!
In order to attract nesting birds to your land property, you also need to pick the proper house. Make sure the house is the proper size, as well as the entrance hole. Wood is typically the best material no matter what type of species you are looking to attract.
Consider the direction you face the birdhouse depending on which species you’d like to nest in it. For example, bluebird houses need their house to face towards an open field so they can eat the insects they like to feed on.
While some species prefer a typical birdhouse, others just need the shady trees or even a brush pile for shelter. You can help provide materials for birds to construct their own nests, such as pet fur/hair, weed fluff, grass clippings, or cotton balls/lint.
Food, shelter, and water. It’s what we all need and birds are no different. You have the food and shelter taken care of, but now you need to add water to the equation. Our friend Steve at Wild Birds Unlimited said even though it may be winter, “They still need water and some bird baths have heaters for this reason.” If all the other water in town is frozen, this will surely attract dozens of birds looking for a water supply. Adding a device to create motion or noise in the water will also attract species of birds to your land property. They will hear the water or see it when flying over and become curious to learn more.
These are just a few ways you can attract different bird and animal species to your land property. Birds can do wonders for your property and peace of mind. Put these tips into practice and before you know it you may have a bird sanctuary in your very own backyard!