What kind of birds can I attract to my yard?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

To attract a variety of birds to your yard, it is important to provide a variety of feeders. Different types of feeders are preferred by different bird species. Here are some suggestions:

1. Tube feeders: Tube feeders are best for finches, sparrows, and chickadees. These feeders have small perches and are designed for small birds that can cling to the sides and extract seeds from the small openings. Finches, such as goldfinches and house finches, are particularly fond of tube feeders.

2. Hopper feeders: Hopper feeders are enjoyed by a variety of birds including finches, jays, sparrows, and cardinals. These feeders have a larger capacity and can hold a mix of seeds. The birds can perch on the edge and access the seeds as they spill out from the hopper. Cardinals are especially attracted to hopper feeders.

3. Suet feeders: Suet feeders are a great way to attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, and starlings. These feeders typically have a cage-like design that holds suet blocks or balls. Woodpeckers, in particular, are known to be attracted to suet feeders and will often cling to them to enjoy the high-energy food source.

4. Ground feeders: Some birds prefer to feed on the ground, so providing a ground feeder can attract species like cardinals, grosbeaks, and blue jays. Ground feeders can be as simple as a shallow tray or platform where you can scatter seeds and other bird-friendly foods. Just be sure to keep the area clean to avoid attracting unwanted pests.

In addition to providing a variety of feeders, you can also attract birds by offering a diverse range of food options. Different birds have different preferences, so it’s a good idea to offer a mix of seeds, suet, fruits, and nuts. Sunflower seeds are generally well-liked by a wide range of bird species.

Creating a bird-friendly habitat in your yard is also important. This can include planting native plants that provide food and shelter for birds, providing fresh water in a birdbath or shallow dish, and minimizing the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Observing and learning about the birds in your area can also help you understand their preferences and tailor your bird feeder setup accordingly. Keep a birding journal and note down the species you see, what they are eating, and any behaviors you observe. This can be a fun and educational experience that deepens your connection with nature.

Remember, attracting birds to your yard takes time and patience. It may take some trial and error to find the right combination of feeders and foods that appeal to the birds in your area. But with some persistence, you can create a welcoming haven for a variety of bird species in your own backyard.