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yeonasky

What birds do you get in your garden and

13 years ago

what plants/feed attracts them?

I recently saw an ad on TV selling feed to attract more colourful birds. It started me thinking that, although I love the birds I get, finches, chickadees, etc, that I don't get red breasted robin, like I used to when I was young, and I hardly ever see hummingbirds anymore. Maybe they don't live in my city much anymore, or maybe I don't have the right food for them.

Yeona

Here is a link that might be useful: Attract colorful birds to your yard

Comments (34)

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Get some thistle seed socks. I use them and they attract Goldfinches and Indigo Buntings. I don't know if you have those in your area, but here's a photo I took of an Indigo Bunting last week...

    {{gwi:223237}}

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What a great pic of that indigo bunting.
    I have black oil sunflower seed up year round here. I routinely see cardinals, titmouses, wrens, blue birds, chickadees, nuthatches and the such around my house and barns. Now I am seeing purple martins and the swallows too.

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  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Check Bluestone Perennials' website. They have helpful lists and I think one is plants that attract birds & butterflies to the garden. I've planted a butterfly bed specifically to offer them nectar plants but the rest of my little green acre is also devoted to providing what they need as well.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yep I agree with gardenweed, it's the plants that attract the birds too.. I feed wild bird food whatever is on sale. I have had Hummers since May 1. I hang two feeders with 1/3 sugar to 1 part water syrup. They seem to be attracted to my Lilac bush.. which is blooming... I have butterflies and all kinds of birds..

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We have lots of birds including robins, titmice, chickadees, cardinals, wrens, finches (including goldfinches),sparrows, mockingbirds, catbirds, grackles, bluejays, flickers, woodpeckers, mourning doves, an occasional towhee,and cedar waxwings). I fill my feeders with hulled sunflower seeds. I also have suet feeders which are especially popular with birds now that they may have babies to feed. The woodpeckers love the suet. Bushes with berries are good choices. My purple beautyberry is always popular as are the serviceberry, hollies, and blueberries. Of course, no berries until much later in the season. I feed year-round. In addition to feeders and flowers, be sure to have water. If you have several bird baths (I have five and even a pot saucer on the ground), you will get more birds. Just be sure to have shrubs or trees close to the water for protection (wet birds don't fly as well as dry ones). Oh, and I don't use chemicals at all.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yeona, my yard if full of robins, they love earthworms. I give my lawn only organic fertilizer, top dress beds with compost and have tons of worms. Water will attract them too, they love a good bath - we laugh at them churning around in one my neighbor has put up, it's low tech...a big plastic pot saucer on a tomato cage. Not pretty, but effective.

    For hummingbirds, there are always feeders you can hang, and I know there are gardeners in BC who have them year round like we do here. Anything with bell or tubular shaped flowers will attract them...bleeding heart, fuchsia, campanula, foxglove, all the salvias, many azaleas, corydalis, agastache, nepeta - too many to list.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Beautiful pic Echinaceamaniac!

    I get many birds in the gardens and yard and really enjoy watching them. I have bird feeders and feed a modest amount of food (mostly in winter/spring), however there are many birds that do not use feeders and the yard and bird baths attract them. The yard is mixed habitat of mature trees, shrubbery, large gardens, thickets, and little meadow. Also I leave some dead wood intact - snags, dead branches, and logs for nesting, perching, and food.

    My gardens are organic and full of native plants, which encourages a vital balance of many insects and the soil is full of worms. Many birds feed their babies insects, which are rich in protein.

    In my yard, the Elderberries, Serviceberry, Crabapples, and native Cherries attract tons of birds. I have a hummingbird garden and grow Lobelia cardinalis, Monarda, Cardinal Climber, Zinnias, and Salvia for the hummers.

    Here is a visitor that came by to check out the rotting stumps, where she was eating termites -
    {{gwi:223238}}

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In my yard, the robins love the fruit of the serviceberry tree and the hummingbirds prefer the annual salvia 'lady in red' over all other plants.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What a neat looking bird. Is it a woodpecker?

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pileated Woodpecker. They pass through my yard every couple weeks, and the things that attract them are the large canopy trees and dead wood (snags, logs, stumps, etc). That woodpecker was chipping away at the stumps and eating termites.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Birds like anything else have need for food, water and shelter. I tend to go the low-key route for attracting birds. I plant food plants for the birds, try to allow the right conditions for shelter and nesting sites, and have water available naturally. I live in a rural area, so exactly how I do things might not work in more settled areas, but substitutions can usually be made. As mentioned above, a bird bath with daily fresh water is a big plus in areas without natural water nearby.

    For shelter and nest sites, I leave standing dead wood where it isn't dangerous since birds like chickadees, swallows, woodpeckers, and bluebirds nest in cavities in dead trees, and we tailor our mowing regime to allow ground nesting birds to have safe nesting sites in our fields. We have evergreens planted to provide shelter in bad weather, and many of them along with with the more densely twiggy shrubs make good nest sites. I have a robins' nest in the large rhododendron right next to the front door, and other nests in lilacs and forsythia. We also get phoebes nesting under the eaves of the sheds. In a more suburban area, a small shelf under the eaves of a garden shed mightbe used by phoebes and bird houses make good homes for cavity nesters.

    For food, I rely on plantings. (I don't put out bird feeders any more since we also have blackbears and I'd rather they didn't look on my yard as a food source. I could put feeders out when the bears hybernate but I'd have to take them in early in spring and that would be hard on the birds who count on them.) Crabapples, hollies, pagoda dogwood, viburnums, and other berried shrubs attract robins, grouse, and cedar waxwings to my yard. Salvias ('Black and Blue' especially) and Heucheras seem to be favorites of the hummingbirds, although I have other hummingbird type flowers as well. Poppies and sunflowers are favorites of seedeaters like goldfinches and some of the sparrows, so I leave their seedheads even though the garden looks a bit less tidy as they age. I am another who uses pretty much only natural stuff in the yard and garden (though I do use Glysophate on the poison ivy where I am likely to be affected by it) and I add lots of organic matter like compost and mulch to the lawn, ornamentals and veggie beds. Having soil that is evenly moist and has lots of organic matter encourages worms and tolerating a few bugs and handpicking problem insects like Japanese beetles and potato bugs allows the bug-eating birds like the robins, flycatchers, hummingbirds, and warblers (as well as dragonflies which I love) to have plenty of food as well.

    The National Wildlife Federation has a program for setting up wildlife habitat at home, and other groups like the Audubon Society probably has web-based information on attracting birds as well.

    Here is a link that might be useful: wildlife habitat in your yard, National Wildlife Federation

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    All good info from everyone above. Food, shelter and water are essential to get and keep our feathered friends in our midst. Throughout the year a fresh supply of water for drinking and bathing is something that many people fail to realize is a great attractant to a large variety of birds.

    A note to cindjo2 about the recommended sugar to water ratio for making hummimg bird feed:

    Formula for hummingbird feed notes: don't boil the water too long...about 2 minutes will be long enough. If your water is chlorinated the boiling will help release the chlorine from the water. Over boiling will reduce the water to sugar ratio. (I have recently read that boiling the water is not necessary. I am skeptical about that and still bring the water to a boil)

    Four parts water to 1 part sugar is the ratio found in nature in the flower nectar that hummingbirds feed on. Bring water to a boil, but don't boil longer than 2 minutes. If you boil away water there will be more sugar left. You will have a sweeter nectar that will make it more attractive to bees and wasps.

    Also, a nectar containing more sugar will not last as long before fermenting, as a lower sugar content nectar would. So, you want your homemade hummingbird nectar to be as close to the 1 to 4 ratio found in nature, as possible.


    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1765237

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for the replies, and the pretty bird pictures!

    I'll try the things mentioned here. I need more hummingbird attractors for sure.

    I just got a purple beauty berry last fall, so I don't know whether the birds around here will go after it or not. I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen. The chickadees do love my Lilac bushes, too, but so far no hummers. I wonder if my soil doesn't have enough compost mixed in, to attract earth worms for the robins. That's the one I miss the most. I'll definitely be getting more shrubs, too. I wish I had more room for deadfall for ground nesters. Maybe in our next place. Thanks for the link about wildlife habitat, and info on the hummingbird food. Interesting reading.

    Thanks again,

    Yeona

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Great pics of the birds! Wish I could say that I had a lot of variety now as I used to have years ago. This area of California has seen alot of development and loss of natural areas in the surrounding areas around town. So alot of birds that used to fly through just skirt the edges following the food plants they feed on.
    Here I see Mockingbirds, Chaparral Jays, Bush Tits, assorted Sparrows or sparrow-like birds, Doves, Black Phoebes, occasional woodpecker, Common Yellowthroat, and sometimes Cedar Waxwings, Black Birds, Audoban and other warblers, and unidentified birds. Every day is present the American Crow.
    I really do not even want to encourage birds anymore because I have cats that have taken up residence in my yard or that come in to explore or hunt and then I keep seeing those nasty plastic coated BBs in my yard. And then there is the noise of people that has really increased. I am amazed that I see any birds at all especially since I seem to be staying in more than I used to!!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a crabapple that produces tiny (1/2 inch) apples that the birds love. I get flocks of cedar waxwings every fall and robins and other birds too.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We get all kinds of birds, (robins especially) but the mainly pretty ones, like the Indigo Bunting & red finches just pass through in the early spring here. We get woodpeckers of all types around here. The hummers are plenty also. I have never seen more than one sitting at my feeders, they are fighters & would never tolerate a feeding partner at the same time.

    I have managed to keep the Baltimore Orioles around this year by putting my oranges out in time. I even discovered that they love orange jello too. I didn't have any oranges yet, but had some little cups of orange jello in the fridge & thought, what the heck?, I'll give it a whirl. They loved that more than they loved the grape jelly I set out along with the jello.

    I did not see the yard full of cedar waxwings this year as I have in the past springs. The yard would just be full of them! Maybe I missed that day this time. LOL!

    We live in the woods & I have a crabapple tree & a wide variety of flowers. The hummers seem to love my Weigela bush, which is just starting to sprout a few stray blooms, plus they love the Bee Balm. They seem to go crazy for the big white blooms of my hosta as well.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Yeona,
    I'm in Vancouver, too!

    I live near one of the few areas where Still Creek has been re-exposed to open air (so many of our creeks are buried under asphalt now). We have a very high crow population all along the creek and they really deter other bird life from sticking around, unfortunately.

    I do see lots of finches, chickadees, and robins in the yard, though. We also have a lot of northern flickers around here. I also had the wonderful experience of two flocks using my yard as a stopping place. One was a huge flock of stellar blue jays that landed one fall and we also got a lovely visit by dozens of cedar waxwings one year.

    Have on a couple of occasions spotted hawks and owls. And we'll periodically see eagles circling looking for food.

    Just a couple of days ago, I saw a hummingbird outside my dining room window. First I've ever seen here.

    I do not put out any feeders, but have been trying to add more wildlife attracting perennials, shrubs and trees each year. I do not spray anything at all in the yard in an effort to be kind to the critters.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We live in a typical suburban neighborhood with a man-made small pond nearby. Many birds are quick visitors on their spring and fall migrations preferring the wooded areas of norther MN.

    I grow both plants that are bird and butterfly and bee attractors and keep various bird feeders stocked all year. These included hulled and regular black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seed, niger seed, and suet.

    Regular visitors include cardinals, chickadees, finches, sparrows, wrens, hummingbirds,juncos, nuthatches, pine siskin, and woodpeckers. Blue jays, crows, flickers, mourning doves, robins and starlings, come to the yard regularly but not the feeders. When I see crows and starlings I shoosh them away.

    Occasional or semi-regular visitors include cedar waxwing, Indigo bunting (one year for a few days, what a beautiful bird),orioles, rose breasted grosbeak.

    The neighbors cats have been stalking my bird feeders for the last two years resulting in fewer birds coming to the feeders and feathered remains now and then. We've also had a hawk visit the feeders several times each year.

    Hummingbirds are also very territorial here and I rarely see more than one at a feeder at a time. Orioles and chickadees will also feed at the hummingbird feeder and will leave when the hummingbird insists.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Aren't those hummingbirds aggressive for their size?! What else would scold something several hundred times their size the way our hummers scold us when we are working too near a favored plant in the garden?

    When I had bird feeders (before the bears) I always sited them out in the middle of the lawn and often had a tray below to keep spilled seed and the birds that eat it off the ground. We had a cat and I don't think she ever caught a bird because they could always see her before she got close, though she caught plenty of small rodents.

    One of my neighbors (who brings the feeders in nightly but still has periodic bear visitors) also has hawks come by, in particular Cooper's and sharpshinned hawks, who seem to view her birdfeeders as their personal birdfeeders. Needless to say, when the hawks come by, all activity at her feeders stops abruptly!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I also keep a stock of regular sunflower seeds & thistle along with 2 suet feeders. We don't have problems with the hawks at the feeders even though there are a few, as well as owls, but they're not a factor. The crows have become more abundant in the past couple of years & I wish they'd leave for good. We shoo away the blue-jays, since they're territorial of the feeders. I have to annually grease the pole that the feeders are on to keep the squirrels at bay too. We had 2 nearby redbud trees that the birds loved to perch in to eat food, but we removed one this year & the birds were quite verbally upset about it's removal.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi~ I'm very sorry to do this but tried as I did ... I gave up & just let this album speak for me. I have 25 flower beds & keep a garden pictorial journal so pix are mostly in Winter.

    Just click for larger view of your choice-bird. Again my apologies!

    Here is a link that might be useful: My Avian Slave-drivers

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Good Morn'g ~ Must apologize again for my loaded album but ...

    @echinaceamaniac ~ luv your Blue Bunting ~ we don't see them here ~ sigh!
    @Terrene ~ wish I could see one of this great Pileated Wdpkr here as well!

    Only 1 kind of Hummers come they love my Buddleias & even the lowly Impatiens ~ have not seen them come near Clethra yet!

    When the Hawk sits & waits for his kill ~ all is quiet in the garden front & he can patiently sit there for better than an hour ~ the Bluejays & Mourning Doves are my brave sentinels that allert the li'l guys!
    Also have album of rascal Squirrels/Possoms/Racoons in action & Butterflies grand-daus love releasing some home grown caterpillars emerged from chrysalises!

    I'm a nature loving old gramma!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Love the pictures ditas! My favorite is the one with the 2 cardinals. So sweet!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for viewing Mellissa ~ they have been at it for days. Usually parents do feed the babes this way until the learn to get to the feeders. What is awesome to behold are the birdhouse maternity wards & parents come to feed the open mouthed birdlings or a young Chickadee family parents giving *Get to b'feeder 101* lessons to the young'uns ~ priceless!!!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you bird lovers for the great thread. And for the pictures!

    Hi kailleanm. I have many stories about the crows of Vancouver. The one that sticks out in my mind most is when, right in front of my house, an eagle, flying solo was surrounded and driven away by a caw of crows working together. I wish I'd gotten it on camera.

    Yeona

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    My grand dau & I & a neighbor watched a Mourning Dove & a Crow carry on a aerial-dog-fight for more than 30 mins. Mourning Dove was protecting a nest of eggs or babies that the crow was trying to raid! It was quite a show I had to allay my grand-dau's fears. Crow eventually gave up.

    On another occasion, a Hawk on a hunt caught a tiny bird in flight ~ awesome sight but very sad at the same time!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I have a couple pairs of Orioles living at my feeders. This is the best picture I have

    {{gwi:223239}}

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh ~ I've never yet seen any Orioles visit our back yet, but have seen just once a marsh Red Winged Blackbird ~ stunning ~ might have just be passing & spotted a piece of bread in the grass!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I get all the typical PNW birds - robins, finches, chickadees, jays, wrens, sparrows, hummers, etc. Lots of plant diversity and shelter to attract them all. But I get a few I'd like to discourage....crows for one :-) Sneaky, noisy, overly intelligent and malicious creatures! They mess up the bird baths and water bowls soaking their garbage-found treasures and parts of roadkill. They devastate young seedlings and pick off flower buds. They steal things. And they harass other birds.

    I am a bit nervous about the nearby nesting eagles also. I can certainly testify these are no longer an endangered species - there are nesting couples everywhere. And up close and personal, they are a LOT bigger than you expect. Cruising over the expanse of lawn at about 10' off the deck, they are huge - like pterodactyls flying about! I hope my cat is smart enough to stay hidden when these guys are on the hunt. I've even seen them fly low to check out a black lab romping at the beach!

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Can't help but notice the 'human' characteristics those crows of gardengal48 have.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Last Friday my 9y/o grand-dau heard a very familiar sound & in excitement got me. Begged if I could allow him in for a short observation. I got her net catcher & brought him in & into a small cage we use to raise caterpillars into Butterflies.

    He must have been sipping nectar form the bight coral impatiens in our foundation by the garage ~ here're some pix ~ just imagine the excitement!!!

    Here is a link that might be useful: A tentative tiny guest

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We feed birds year round so have quite a few visit our garden throughout the year some of the birds that come to mind are...
    Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker and this year for the first time Hairy Woodpecker.
    Bushtits come in flocks to the suet feeder.
    Chickadees
    Both Rufus and Annas Humingbirds
    Several kinds of Sparrows
    Towhees
    Robins
    Juncos
    California Quail, although they have been in the neighborhood forever they now come into our yard several times a day, sit on our roof early evening looking in a window, drives Percy are house kitty nuts.
    Goldfinches only come into the garden if we put a feeder out by our back fence.
    Some years we have Pine Siskins others we don't.
    House Finches which nest in the Boston Ivy on our chimney.
    Most Januarys we have Varied Thrush visit for awhile.
    Flickers
    We used to have both the Violet Green and Tree Swallows nest in our garden these and the Barn Swallows we don't see any more.

    I'm sure I've forgotten some of the birds we've seen or have at the feeders but can't think of them at the moment.

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The last two years crows have nested in the Douglas firs in the yard behind our house and the babies have hopped around our yard when they can't quite fly yet. The adults dive bombed us and our cats to protect them. The cats were terrified and the baby crows actually so big they scared them even without the adults attacking.

    {{gwi:223240}}

  • 13 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Gee Weez ~ & I thought the reason why those turkey-sized Crows stay away from my piece of soil is because of the 4 stray cats I pay (w/ food) to guard my treasures from invaders of sorts!!!

    The Grackles are my least fave visitors ~ they dirty the baths ~ hard to keep up!

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