Our feathered friends bring beauty, movement, color and sweet chirps of music to any garden or yard. But they also provide the additional and functional benefit of controlling the destructive insect population, as they love to feast on many of the pesky pests that can invade garden flowers and plants. You already have some birds visiting your garden now, but if you want to attract birds to your garden, and a greater variety of species, there are many trees and shrubs that will attract them. Birds love to eat fruit, nuts, seeds and berries, so by adding trees and shrubs that provide these treats, you will quickly enjoy flocks of beautiful birds to your home. The foliage of these trees will also provide secure sites for their nests to protect them from harsh weather and predators, as well as attract the insects they love to eat. Some trees and shrubs that attract birds are:
* White Birch — The ample seeds on this tree will attract redpolls, goldfinch and pine siskins.
* Cherry Tree — Varieties such as the Shubert’s Chokecherry and Mayday grow cherries that people don’t eat, but all kinds of birds adore.
* Conifers — An abundance of seeds from the cones provide food for many birds, and the Cedar Waxwings especially love to feed on the red fruit of the yew. The density of Conifer trees such as the Spruce, Fir, and Pine also provide safe nesting sites.
* Elderberry — This shrub produces a dark, mature fruit that songbirds cannot get enough of, especially thrushes and warblers. Other small shrubs with fruit that attract many varieties of birds include raspberries, blackberries, currant and gooseberries.
* Virginia Creeper — This is a gorgeous climbing vine that bears shiny black berries that birds such as bluebirds, kingbirds and flycatchers will happily feed on.
You can also invite more birds to your garden and yard by offering them food from a bird feeder. To attract a diverse group, be sure to give them a large menu of choices, including sunflower seeds, dried fruit, cracked corn and suet. You will find that some birds will eat from an elevated tray on a feeder, and others will not, preferring to feed on the ground. Hummingbirds, one of the most enjoyable birds to inhabit your yard, are attracted to the sweet nectar of flowers such as spapdragon, zinnias, petunias, phlox, bleeding heart and bee balm. They love red flowers the best, but also prefer orange and pink. You can also invite these rapid little fliers by hanging a dispenser filled with sugar water, as they require eight times their weight in water every day.
By planting the trees, shrubs and flowers that provide birds with food and shelter, you will be rewarded with a garden of beauty and song every day.