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Simple Ways to Attract Wild Birds to Your Backyard and Flower Gardens

Updated on February 27, 2012
Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, and are nectar feeding birds.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, and are nectar feeding birds. | Source

Watching birds in the backyard is an enjoyable experience for many. Children love to get involved in naming the different birds and birdwatching is a serious hobby for many people. For those who would like to attract more birds to a yard or garden, here are some simple tips for just that.

The easiest thing to do to attract birds is to affix a bird feeder somewhere in the yard, patio or garden so they may eat. Different birds like different things: a hummingbird needs special sugar syrup in a liquid, goldfinches like thistleseed, starlings and nuthatches enjoy peanuts (raw, never salted), bluejays like sunflower seeds and sparrows like millet. Birds also enjoy fruits. Fresh or dried fruits can be used. Orioles, Mockingbirds and Western Tanagers like apples or oranges. Go to the library and read up on your favorite birds to find out what they enjoy eating the most to encourage your favorites to visit you.

Some bird feeding kits come with everything you need, including the housing for the seed or food, and the actual food itself, which is great for a starter kit. There are also simple crafts the kids can do to feed the birds, such as making a bird feeder from recycled milk cartons.Another easy way to attract birds is to plant a few favorite flowers of the birds. Hummingbirds enjoy red flowers, and those that produce nectar. Obvious choices are hibiscus and honeysuckle. Put them in pots, if you have a small patio, or use them as both border bushes and ground or fence coverings for getting more than one use from them.

Adding a bird bath to a garden or yard with no pond will also encourage birds to stop by. Birds are especially attracted to running water so a little fountain bubbling softly will be nice for them. Use recycling pumped water so that water is not wasted.

Birdhouses or nest boxes are another way to encourage birds 'spend the night' at your house. If you build a nestbox or birdhouse, be sure it is firmly affixed to whatever it is hanging on or a nailed to so that the house with the birds won't wobble and fall over when the birds are landing or nesting. Also birds are very sensitive to their surroundings, so many visits to look to see if any birds are inside or to count them will discourage them from staying.

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