Bring Birds to the Garden
by Wendy Gasch, Horticulturist
Looking back over the past season, do you wish
you had more avian friends visiting your garden? It may be easier
than you think to encourage these feathered friends into your backyard.
There are three key elements needed to create a bird-friendly garden:
food, water, and shelter.
Adding bird feeders around the garden is
a great way to give birds the initial invitation. Selecting plants
that provide berries, seeds, and nuts during different seasons can
encourage them to be year-round visitors. Crabapples, viburnums and
cotoneasters are great berry-bearing plants. The Asteraceae family
of perennials, including coneflower, black-eyed Susan, and globe
thistle, also provides tasty treats for birds that enjoy seeds. Remember
that insects are food too - refrain from using insecticides and let
the bird population do the work for you.
Water can easily be added
to the garden with a pond or birdbath. During Wisconsin winters,
heated birdbaths are a great option for a year-round water source.
are great plants to provide sheltered nesting and roosting sites.
Leave a brush pile over the winter to provide additional shelter
from local predators.
By providing a few key elements it's easy to
transform the backyard into a fantastic habitat for birds.
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