Attracting Birds to Your Yard

MOSAIC Group Guest Blogger: Sarah French, Wild Birds Unlimited, wbuatl@att.net
Sarah French
The key to the conservation of bird populations is to be found in providing habitats needed for their natural reproduction and sustained survival. There are four elements of creating a backyard habitat to attract birds and other forms of nature into your yard to help them thrive: food, water, cover, and places to reproduce and raise their young. 
Over 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from feeders we provide in our yards. Adding several varieties of feeders will attract the greatest variety of birds. 
Platform and hopper feeders (wood feeders with a place to hold seed and a perching area) and tube feeders are popular ways to offer different seed blends. Nectar feeders are popular with hummingbirds who don’t require seed because they drink sugar water. Speciality feeders are designed to attract specific birds such as finches and a variety of woodpeckers. 
Feeders allow breeding birds to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites. The adults will have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators if nesting boxes are provided. Chickadees, titmouse, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and nuthatches are just some of the birds that require a nest cavity. 
Providing shelter or cover such as shrubs or piles of old tree limbs stacked up will allow for safe hiding from predators. Water is essential all year long as birds not only need it for drinking but also for bathing to keep their feathers clean for flight. 
Birdfeeding and birdwatching is a fun and rewarding hobby for all ages. Contact us at wbuatl@att.net or 404.257.0084 and let us help you get started in creating a backyard sanctuary.