As you start making plans for your garden this summer, remember the songbirds. Enhancements to your yard can also support their needs. Here are some ideas that will get you on your way to a better yard while also helping you increase your up-close viewings of local songbirds.
Blooms: Flowers are the stars of the show of any landscaping plan. But another benefit you may not think of is how flowers can be something that supports the birds. Some nectar-producing blooms attract insects that birds like to eat, while deeply colored, cone-shaped flowers tend to draw in hummingbirds. When getting your beds and planters ready, plan to have something always in bloom — especially during the nesting season.
Conifers: These add year-round color, and the bird benefits are many. They offer plenty of cover during the nesting season as well as during the winter months. Conifers are also an important food source for birds. You may find them searching for beetles in the bark or retrieving seeds from the pine cones.
Grasses: Columns of ornamental grasses are an easy-care way to achieve height and dimension to a landscaping bed. The seed heads they produce offer a source of food to hungry birds, especially if you allow that column of grass to stand through the winter.
Berries: Fruit-bearing shrubs and trees make beautiful accents for your yard in any season, starting with their sweet-scented blossoms in the spring. Choose varieties that hang on to their fruit in the fall and winter, including sumac, winterberry and crabapple. They can add a bit of color to your yard after the leaves have fallen, and the robins and waxwings will happily partake.
Go native: Plants proven to thrive and survive in your region often require less watering, plus they’re hardier and require less hands-on care. Native plants, flowers and shrubs can also serve as a billboard for birds: “Food and lodging!” If you’re searching for ideas, now’s a great time of year to comb local resources. Your local garden center, library, botanic gardens or Audubon society are just some of the places that have experts who can give you helpful advice.
Even if your backyard is well landscaped for birds, plan on keeping your feeders filled year round too, and you'll always draw a flock. Lyric Delite No Waste Mix is filled with plenty of seeds and nuts, minus the shells. Not only does this provide superb value, you can spend less time sweeping and more time enjoying yourself outdoors.