If you’ve never been interested in backyard birding, the summer is a great time to take a peek up into the sky and listen for some of Woodstock’s most common feathered friends. Summer is mating and nesting season for many backyard favorites, and with just a few simple steps you can turn your backyard into a haven for common summer birds, including cardinals, chickadees, titmice, wrens, goldfinches and bluebirds. Here are a few of the easiest steps you can take to attract birds into your backyard.
Sunflower Seeds – A Bird Favorite
Any avid birder will tell you that you can’t go wrong with black oil sunflower seeds for the birds. Whether you choose a no-mess blend that already has the shells removed or the originals, large and small backyard favorites like cardinals, titmice, chickadees, finches and wrens will flock to a feeder stuffed with sunflower seeds.
Offer a Variety of Food
Suet, mealworms and fresh fruit are all great options for attracting a variety of backyard birds. If you’re yearning for bluebirds, mealworms are the ticket, especially if you can get your hands on some that are still alive. Suet cakes are available in different varieties packed with fruits and nuts and even mealworms and can bring woodpeckers, brown thrashers and blue jays. Or, attract birds (and butterflies) with fresh fruit like watermelon or cut an orange in half and see if you can spot an oriole – they’re famous for going after fresh fruit.
Offer birds a place to cool off during the hot summer months and they’ll stick around. In order to keep a birdbath mosquito-free, switch out the water every couple of days. Keep the water level shallow, about two inches or less. If your basin is deep, add some pea gravel or some large, flat stones to provide a choice in water levels.
Nesting Boxes or Houses
Summer is nesting season for many birds, since the warmer temperatures provide plenty of food and water options. Setting up a nesting box in your yard can provide protection for many species of birds as well as provide you with an opportunity to monitor and enjoy them. Look for a box designed for the specific species you hope to attract. The Cornell Lab or Ornithology has an interactive portal that will tell you which birds you can build a nest box or nest structure for in your region and habitat.
If you have questions about backyard birding or what plants and flowers will help attract these feathered visitors to your yard, stop by Autumn Hill Nursery or Four Seasons Gift and Garden or give us a call!
Photo via MBarton.