Springtime is bird time! Here are a few tips for attracting more backyard birds to your garden this spring than ever before.
Try Something New. This is the time of year to add a style of feeder you’ve never used before. Try an orange and grape jelly feeder for orioles, or a mealworm feeder for neighborhood bluebirds. Click here for some recommendations.
Keep Feeders Clean. Keep your backyard birds healthy and encourage more visitors by making sure your feeders are clean. Seed feeders should be emptied and cleaned every couple of weeks (more often in wet or humid weather), and nectar feeders need fresh sugar water and a good cleaning every few days. Get tips for cleaning these feeders (as well as birdbaths) here.
Supply Feeders at the Right Time. Hummingbird feeders should be hung out about two weeks before you expect hummingbirds to return. (Not sure if this year’s winter will affect their return time? See the 2014 Hummingbird Tracker map.) The same goes for oriole feeders – have them out in advance to help birds find you first, which makes them more likely to return all season long.
Make Your Yard Safer. While we may not be able to control bully birds or stray neighborhood cats, we can provide safer places for backyard birds to feed and nest. Problem with cats in the neighborhood? Hang feeders from an 8-foot metal pole away from other tall structures. Even the best cats are unlikely to jump that high. Predators like hawks attacking from the sky? Try a feeder with a roof to protect smaller birds. Tired of watching grackles drive away your warblers? Add a cage-style feeder that only smaller birds can use. Get more tips on defeating bully birds here.
Birdscape Your Garden. Providing natural nesting and food sources will attract more birds. Plant a tree or some new shrubs this spring for shelter, and add a couple of berry-producing plants to extend your backyard bird visitors longer into the fall. Learn more about birdscaping here.
Got a tip for attracting more birds this spring? We’d love to hear it! Tell us in the comments below. Have more questions about feeding or attracting birds? Try visiting the Birding forums on the Birds & Blooms Community.