Birds can be drawn to a bird feeder, but this alone won't keep them coming back. To create a lasting habitat, it's important to provide native plants that offer food, shelter, and nesting sites. Local flora is best suited to the soil and water conditions of your area and is adapted to meet the needs of the local wildlife. Choose a variety of plants, including those that produce nectar, fruit, seeds, and nuts. Local gardening and birding clubs, as well as government resources, can provide information on the best plants to choose from.
Clean water is also an important factor in attracting birds. Birdbaths are a great way to offer water, but you can also enhance their appeal by setting up a slow, steady drip. This can be accomplished by placing a plastic bottle with a small hole above the birdbath. The sound of dripping or flowing water is especially attractive to birds.
Nesting is another critical element in creating a bird-friendly backyard. Nest boxes and platforms can provide birds with a place to lay their eggs and raise their young. Additionally, encouraging lichens and spiders can help smaller birds, like gnatcatchers and hummingbirds, to construct their nests. Providing natural materials like cotton batting and twine can also help birds build their nests.
Creating a bird-friendly backyard takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. By providing food, shelter, water, and nesting sites, you can attract a diverse array of bird species and create a beautiful natural habitat in your own backyard.