Birds appreciate year-round seed feeding from a clean, well-kept feeder, but there are other useful methods to attract them to your yard.
- Birds' fondness for a mist or trickle of moving water encourages them to gather at backyard
ponds or to sip from grass after you turn off your sprinkler.
- A birdbath increases the likelihood you'll catch a glimpse of birds cleaning themselves or frolicking.
- In northern regions, where natural water sources freeze in the winter, an open
(de-iced) birdbath can attract more birds than a feeder.
- Non-migrating species need places to roost, perch, and escape predators during winter. If your yard does not already include thick hedges, shrubs or vines, now is a good time to plan for next year.
- Leave dead trees standing unless they are a hazard to people or property. They shelter woodpeckers and other cavity dwellers, and their bark provides a wealth of insects and grubs to forage on.
- Try putting up roost boxes, which provide wintering birds warmth and shelter on cold nights.
- Resist cutting back flowers in fall. Instead, leave the dead seed heads intact for a songbird feast.
- Rather than bagging up all your leaves and grass in fall, keep some as mulch. This mix contains insects for ground-foraging birds and provides nesting materials come spring.
- In an inconspicuous portion of your property, construct a small brush pile to protect and shelter wintering ground-dwellers.
- Plant trees and shrubs containing berries that remain throughout winter, such as American holly, American cranberry-bush viburnum, and juniper.