You just can’t beat a yard that’s brimming with birds. It’s good for you, good for them, and good for ol’ planet Earth. Attract birds to your backyard by planting trees and shrubs that have the fruit, seeds, or berries they love. And if you want them to linger, be sure to include these, too:
- Birdhouses. They attract bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, purple martins, swallows, woodpeckers, and more. You’ll find houses at bird-supply, discount, and hardware stores, and online.
- Feeders. Even though you’ve planted bird-attracting trees and shrubs, having a few feeders in your yard will bring even more fine-feathered friends. Make sure there’s room for at least a dozen birds to perch at one time, and that the feeder holds enough seed so that you don’t have to refill it more than once a day.
- Birdbaths. Birds will drink from just about anything when they’re thirsty. But to really make them happy, set up a birdbath that’s at or near ground level. Keep the water depth shallow to make birds will feel safe when using the birdbath. And look for baths that have multiple depths to attract a wider variety of birds.
To keep your birdbath in tip-top shape—so your feathered friends will keep flocking to it—add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the water when you refill it. Birds don’t seem to mind the taste, and it helps slow down fast-growing algae. Plus, it’ll help prevent “ring around the birdbath”—those white lines of dried minerals that form inside the basin as the water evaporates.