Bring birds to your yard by doing these five things below:
I was pleasantly surprised one snowy morning when I opened my front door to see how
deep the snow was and spotted this hawk across the street. He stood out clearly in the
You might not spot a hawk in your yard, but there are a few things you can do to bring
birds to your yard and to see more of a variety or birds around your home.
1. The first and most obvious thing to do to bring more birds to your yard would be to feed them.
When that feeder gets empty, you will notice they suddenly disappear.
How amazing it becomes on a winter day in which you don’t see or hear a single bird,
but as soon as you spread some seed on the deck railing or throw some seeds on top of the snow,
the birds will show up. Cardinals seem to come in multiples in the winter.
2.What you feed the birds makes a huge difference. We live in Southeastern Pa. We get the best
results with black oil sunflower seeds and suet blocks. You can purchase wild bird seed
that is cheaper, but you will get a wider variety of birds with the sunflower seeds. We have found
that the cheaper seed gets dropped on the ground more quickly and forgotten to the point of growing
thistles or whatever else may be in the seeds.
3. Bring birds to your yard by offering them protection from squirrels. Squirrels
love, love, love, bird seed. Most people put their bird feeders near a tree, and rightfully so.
Birds live in the trees and won’t be frightened from the bird feeder if it’s close.
Squirrels can finish off a full bird feeder in a day or two unless you do something
to keep them away. I concluded there is no sure fire way to keep squirrels away,
but here are a few things that work, for a while at least.
Grease the pole the bird feeder is hanging from and move it far enough from the
tree, so a squirrel can’t jump on it.
Buy a squirrel proof bird feeder. It took our birds a little while til they adjusted
to the cage around the feeder but soon they were pros at landing on the cage and
then hopping into the bird feeder. There was one time, though, when a smaller squirrel
managed to crawl inside the cage and got caught between the cage and feeder. We had to
push him out by poking a stick gently at him for a while til he moved in the right way to free himself.
Birds adjust to family pets, and if pets are laying around they can deter most squirrels to not
Then…there is the BB gun. No reason to shoot the squirrel, just the sound of the bb flying by is
usually enough to keep him in the tree.
Sit outside for a while and enjoy the birds. Squirrels usually don’t come out when you’re sitting
nearby, but you may have to yell at them or throw a few stones in the general area. Most of the time
they get the point.
Stretch a slinky toy from the top of the pole to the bottom. This one I never tried, but it might be fun to
see a squirrel try to climb it. Maybe a good greasing on that would help too?
4. Have water available. Birds love to bathe and drink water, of course. Put your bird bath or source
of water close to you as it is a treat to see them indulge! We have a rock wall which
has one rock that had a natural dip in it that was thick enough to hold water. It’s funny to
me that both our cat and the birds drink out of this rock. You can see the rock wall by
5. Bring birds to your home by planting the bird’s favorite flowers. Hummingbirds are my favorite.
They seem to love any flower with a trumpet shape, like this Salvia. Even though this one’s a rose red,
I’ve seen hummingbirds on black and blue Salvia, bandana red Lantana, and Trumpet Vines.
I’m always amazed at the accuracy of their flights with wings hovering and managing to get their
beak into the tiny flower trumpets. If you’ve ever had one stop in front of your face and hover for a few seconds
you will be sold too. Are they daring each other to do that or what?
Other plants that attract Goldfinches, Titmouse, Chickadees, Finches, and Cardinals
are Asters, Black Eyed Susans, Purple Coneflowers, Coreopsis, and Marigolds. These
flowers all have plenty of seeds for the birds and if you leave the flower heads on through
out the winter you will be doing the birds a favor.