Plan your backyard for the Birds!

Now that Spring is here, let’s plan a backyard for Birds!  Cardinal2

Plan your bird habitat: take stock of the plants you have – what native plants do you have to attract birds?
Consider the space basics in the yard:
• areas of sun and shade (or combination areas)
• wet or dry areas (does your soil retain moisture? How frequently would you water?)
• soil type (light and/or sandy; heavier and/or clay-based)
Create habitat layers:
• Large trees for overhead canopy
• Shrubs or small trees for fruits and nesting sites
• Perennials, annuals and groundcovers for seeds and pollinator habitats
• Decaying leaves & other plant debris as a habitat base and food source (plant debris house caterpillars & other pupae)
Shift from traditional open lawn space surrounded by small garden beds, to smaller lawn with large beds; eventually the lawn becomes a winding path between your planting areas.
Cluster plants of same species in groups of 5 or more. In addition to an appealing mass of color, plant clusters are favored by pollinators as they prefer to feed from a mass of the same flower species.
Consider the height of plants, color and growing times
Birds need water – what do you have that can catch and hold rainfall? How clean is it? To keep your birdbath fresh, just rinse and scrub it with nine parts water, one-part vinegar. Make sure to refill the water every other day to keep it from bugging up. Clean the ground area under the birdbath and bird feeders frequently.
Resources: (National Gardening Association) can search by plant characteristics