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Birdscaping to Attract birds

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Bats, the Benefit of 
National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Habitat Program 
Bird Identification Tips 

Birdscaping is a fruitful hobby for those who love to work in their yards. It involves planting, decorating, and landscaping to ensure an inviting habitat for birds. Below are some unique ways to deliver the big three: Food, shelter, and water - to help transform your yard into a bird haven.

  1. Plant seed-producing foliage for year-round bloom. No matter what plant zone you live in or what time of year it is, there is foliage beneficial to wild birds. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map, shown below, is a great way to determine what plant zone you live in. Each zone is determined by the average annual minimum temperature and will help you determine which plants will thrive in your area throughout.

    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

    Visit for an up close view of the above plant hardiness map. There, you can click on any region for plant zone and hardiness specifics.

    Your birdscaping doesn't have to be limited because of where you live. There are a variety of birdscaping options that span over a number of plant zones. Spring to mid-summer's coreopsis and honeysuckle thrive in zones 3-10 and help feed nesting birds. Late-summer's dogwood and aster are suited for zones 2-11 and help birds store up for migration. Winter-persistent chokeberry, bayberry, and sumac can be lifesavers for birds that winter over in zones 3-8. Don't forget to augment natural areas with a buffet of manmade feeders. Bring hummingbirds right to your window with a Window Hummingbird Feeder. The Triple Tube Bird Feeder lets you offer three seed varieties simultaneously for greater bird variety.

    For more information, see:

  2. Provide a multitude of nesting and hiding spots. Evergreens are ideal; they offer year-round protection. They're also available in varieties for virtually every growing condition and space allowance. Offer a mix of deciduous trees, too, especially fruit, sap, or nut-producers like crab apple (zones 3-9), sugar maple (zones 3-8), and mountain ash (zones 3-8). Vines like grape (zones 3-9) and trumpet (zones 4-10) attract hummingbirds, while shrubs and tall grasses lure ground nesters. Set up man-made birdhouses for the nesting needs of purple martins, wrens, nuthatches, bluebirds, and more. Our Three Woodpecker House is an excellent option.

  3. Supply clean water. A birdbath may be all it takes to get a visiting bird to stop. Or, install a small pond. Birds will not likely stop at unclean water sources, however, so clean frequently and change water daily in baths.

Birdscaping not only attracts lovely songbirds, it also beautifies your yard - a win-win, year-round endeavor.


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