October brings many things to the state of Washington. Beautiful fall foliage, pumpkin spice lattes, and the migration of birds. With over 500 species of birds in our state, there is nothing better than sitting out on your back patio with a cup of coffee watching birds come to your feeder. Fall is a great time to spot birds you don’t usually see in the summer as they are in the process of passing through from Canada. Don’t allow these birds to fly through unnoticed; learn the key ways to attract birds to your backyard with our tips below.
Migration is hard work, and these birds will be on the lookout for sources of food, water, and shelter. Birds spend weeks scouting for appropriate nesting sites, usually in trees, shrubs, vines, or on the ground. However, over 50 species of birds that enjoy man-made shelters such as wrens, bluebirds, chickadees, sparrows, and swallows. You can make birds’ lives easier by designing a few birdhouses or setting out desired nesting materials such as cotton, feathers, twigs, horsehair, straw, and yarn.
Water is vital to migrating birds who are constantly on the lookout from above for an easily obtainable source of freshwater. The presence or lack of water will have a direct effect upon where birds where build their nests. If you put up a birdbath, you’ll be doing migrating birds a huge favor. Soon you will see birds chirping and splashing playfully as they recharge for the long flight still ahead. You can fulfill this need by placing a birdbath, fountain, or pan of water out for them to enjoy. Because female mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in stagnant water, your best bet is to use something with moving water or include an agitator.
Birds spend most of their waking hours hunting for insects or foraging for berries and seeds. The more feeder options you have, the more species you can attract. That’s because different birds like to eat different things. For example, cardinals, sparrows, titmice, and chickadees prefer sunflower seeds. Bluebirds, cedar waxwings, and nuthatches prefer fruit, and blue jays, woodpeckers, and warblers just love blocks of suet. By providing a variety of different food options, you will be to attract many species of birds. Hang or place feeders in easily accessible areas that keep the seed dry and away from squirrels who will scare birds off.
For more permanent sources of food, plant shrubs, and trees that produce berries year-round such as crab apples, huckleberry, chokecherry, and mulberry.
Like humans, birds are attracted to attractive-looking landscapes. You can increase your chances of attracting fall birds by having a variety of native plants that birds enjoy roosting in or feeding from. Flowers and fruit trees also attract insects that birds love to prey on. Keep this in mind next spring when it’s time to plant the new garden.
If you follow all of the tips listed above, your yard will soon become a regular stopover for migrating birds searching for a place to relax, refuel, and rest before continuing on their journey south.
The professionals at Colonial Lawn and Garden can help provide you with your own backyard oasis. Our tree and shrub care program can help you maintain and protect the flower and fruit trees your birds have come to love. Our landscape design and installation service can help you design a backyard that birds will enjoy coming back to year after year.
Got lawn problems? Our lawn care program can help. Contact us now for all your landscape and lawn care needs. Want to talk to a live person? If you are in Yakima, call us at 509-966-1655. If you are in the Tri-City area, call 509-371-1655. For more lawn care tips, check out our other blog articles. And lastly, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.