The Best Ways To Attract Wild Birds To Your Backyard

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Hobbies
If you want to attract as many wild birds to your garden as possible, it is up to you to provide for all their needs. Fortunately it does not take too much work to attract a variety of beautiful guests to your outdoor 'hotel'- as long as you know what they're looking for.


What you want more than anything is to become known as a reliable feeding spot. Wild birds will find several feeding areas that they will visit regularly, by offering a good supply you will make it onto their feeding route. Be patient, however, as they become familiar with your offerings. Some birds may only start feeding in your yard when other sources have become scarce, but if they like it they'll be sure to return.

Different species prefer different foods so provide a variety of seeds, berries and natural sources of nourishment to attract the greatest variety of birds. You might start with black sunflower seeds, white millet or safflower seeds. Try various seeds to determine what offerings are preferred by the birds in your area.

Provide the food from several sources since each species has a different preference. The ground is an easy place to scatter seeds and will attract small birds like sparrows. Safflower is unappealing to squirrels so putting it on a raised platform that is attached to a pole, your windowsill or a porch railing, will discourage them from stealing it from birds that prefer to eat above the ground.

Other birds prefer a hanging feeder. Place it in a tree or on your home where you can view it easily from inside.

Planting shrubs and trees that provide a natural source of seeds or berries will be a big draw for your yard. Dogwoods have a sweet fruit many birds like and holly will provide nourishment in the winter when the more favored berries are hard to find or already eaten.


Birds love a fresh supply of water. You can make your offer of water as humble as a large bowl on a tree stump or as elaborate as a pond - your birds won't care. Moving water will prevent mosquitos from breeding but you can also take care to empty and refill a bird bath to prevent breeding as well.

Winter makes it difficult for birds to find unfrozen water so be sure to use a bird bath with a heater or replace the water as necessary.


Thick trees like evergreens make a good home, offering protection from predators and harsh elements. Thick grasses and shrubs also provide protection and nesting areas.

Choose plants that can be left to seed and you will be offering both home and food to your little guests - ensuring they will find your yard the perfect home for them and their little ones year after year. function SubmitRating(btn) { ratingchecked = false; if (btn.form.aRating0.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating1.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating2.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating3.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (btn.form.aRating4.checked) ratingchecked = true; if (ratingchecked) { btn.form.btnRating.value=btn.value; btn.form.submit(); } else { alert("Be sure a rating value has been selected to continue."); } }