How to Attract Birds to Your Garden

How to Attract Birds to Your Garden
  • Opening Intro -

    If you want to attract more birds and a variety of the same to your garden, the first rule is not use pesticides.

    The second rule is to diversify your garden by featuring plants that will attract cardinals, woodpeckers, bluebirds, grosbeaks, tanagers and other birds that gardeners enjoy.


Practice these two rules and your garden will not only thrive, but come alive with winged creatures including butterflies.

Choose Your Plants

Your garden may already feature a number of plants that birds already enjoy, either as a food source or as protection. Perhaps both types are present within one plant species.

For gardens with ample sunlight throughout the day, sunflowers are essential. Sunflowers are annual plants and can grow as high as 10 feet tall with some varieties. Chickadees enjoy perching on top of sunflower heads, bending down to pluck out seeds. Other birds that are especially receptive to sunflowers include blue jays, gold finches and cardinals notes Diane Porter writing for

Other plants to consider for your bird-friendly garden include cornflower, larkspur, snapdragon, zinnias, aster and calendula. Consider agarito, small plants with yellow blooms and red berries, the latter appealing to some birds including cardinals.

A variety of trees and shrubs that produce berries can benefit your birds too. Serviceberry produces flowers for the first two years then purple-toned berries thereafter. Birds are also attracted to dogwood trees, crabapple, honeysuckle, winterberry and mountain ash to name a few.

Water Sources

With food and cover provided, you can attract more birds to your garden by providing water. Look for a birdbath that is about two to three inches deep and offers a perching area for the birds.

Birds are also attracted by moving water as its motion will catch their eyes when flying by. A battery-operated water agitator can keep water moving, thwart mosquitos and may prevent heated birdbaths from freezing over. For more elaborate water sources consider streams, waterfalls, ponds and misters.

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Bird Houses

Never assume that birds will be attracted to your yard because of the plants, cover and water source(s) alone. There are dozens of bird species that like birdhouses and include the following: bluebirds, robins, titmice, chickadees, woodpeckers, wrens, nuthatches, swallows, finches, warblers, thrashers and sparrows.

For the avid birder seeking an even greater variety, specially constructed homes or platforms can attract purple martins, owls, ducks and even hawks. Consider what birds frequent your area and plan your garden accordingly.

See AlsoHow to Build Your Own Garden-Based Office



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Categories: Garden Plants

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".