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Home Best Backyard Bird-Feeding Practices
Bird Habitat

Creating habitat around your home attracts wild birds. Native plants offer protection from the elements and predators and can be a good source of food. Two additional features to add to your yard are bird houses and water.


© Roger Mayhorn

Native Plants

One of the most effective ways to create a bird-friendly yard is to landscape your yard with vegetation native to your area. A diversity of plants of all shapes and sizes including large and small trees, bushes and shrubs, and smaller flowering plants provide shelter, protection from predators, food and nest sites for year-round residents and migratory birds. For information on the best plants for your yard, contact your local cooperative extension office, nature center or nursery.




© Roger Mayhorn

Bird Houses

Bird houses will attract wild birds that may not visit bird feeders. Typically, nest boxes are constructed from wood. The entrance holes should be the appropriate size and shape for the birds you intend to attract. A nest box should have adequate drainage and ventilation, and should provide protection from the elements and predators. To see one bird house design click here.




© Roger Mayhorn

Water Features

A water source, such as a pond or bird bath, is a great feature that allows wild birds to drink and bathe in while enhancing your yard. Bird baths are typically concrete, metal or plastic and can be mounted in many ways. Like bird feeders, water features should be placed where you can readily see them, but in areas safe from predators. By adding moving water to your water feature, you may increase the level of bird activity in your yard. During cold temperatures, consider using a submersible or built-in electric heater to keep the water ice-free.