How do I attract tanagers to my yard?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

To attract tanagers to your yard, there are several key strategies you can employ. These colorful birds are known for their love of insects and fruits, so providing suitable food sources is essential. Additionally, offering water sources and creating a welcoming habitat will increase your chances of attracting tanagers.

1. Plant native flowers: Tanagers are attracted to native flowers that attract flying insects, such as bees and butterflies. By creating a diverse garden with a variety of native plants, you can provide a natural food source for these birds. Some examples of native flowers that attract pollinators include milkweed, coneflower, bee balm, and goldenrod.

2. Provide overripe fruits: Tanagers also enjoy overripe fruits, so consider placing some bananas or berries in your yard. You can hang them from trees or place them on feeding platforms. Ensure the fruits are ripe and soft, as tanagers prefer them that way. This will provide an additional food source and increase the chances of attracting these birds.

3. Install birdbaths or water features: Tanagers, like many other birds, need access to water for drinking and bathing. Installing a birdbath or a water feature, such as a small fountain or pond, can be highly appealing to tanagers. Make sure to keep the water source clean and provide fresh water regularly.

4. Create a diverse habitat: Tanagers are more likely to visit your yard if you provide a diverse habitat with a variety of trees, shrubs, and plants. Different species of tanagers prefer different types of habitats, so having a mix of vegetation will attract a larger range of these birds. Incorporate trees with dense foliage for nesting and provide perching spots.

5. Avoid using pesticides: Pesticides not only harm insects but can also have detrimental effects on the birds that feed on them. To attract tanagers, it’s important to minimize the use of pesticides in your yard. Instead, focus on creating a balanced ecosystem where insects and birds can thrive naturally.

6. Provide shelter: Tanagers appreciate having places to hide and rest. Planting shrubs with dense foliage or providing birdhouses can give them a sense of security and encourage them to visit more frequently. Consider adding nesting boxes specifically designed for tanagers to provide suitable shelter and nesting opportunities.

Personal Experience: I have successfully attracted tanagers to my yard by following these strategies. By planting a variety of native flowers, providing overripe fruits, and maintaining a birdbath, I have been able to observe tanagers visiting regularly. It’s always a delight to see their vibrant colors and hear their melodic calls. Creating a welcoming habitat for tanagers has not only enhanced the beauty of my yard but also contributed to the overall biodiversity in the area.

Attracting tanagers to your yard involves planting native flowers that attract flying insects, providing overripe fruits, installing water sources like birdbaths, creating a diverse habitat with a variety of vegetation, minimizing pesticide use, and offering shelter through shrubs or birdhouses. By incorporating these strategies, you can increase the chances of attracting these stunning birds to your yard and enjoy their presence and beauty.