Thursday, May 17, 2012

Attracting Birds to My Garden

"The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches."  Ps. 104

    OK, I do love the birds.

   When we began to envision our current garden fourteen years ago, we decided that it had to be a home for as many birds as we could attract.

     Our suburban neighborhood is loaded with some very tall old oaks.  These giants provide a canopy and an oasis for many of the birds who both live here and pass through in spring and fall, like the Baltimore Oriole.
Oriole stops  by

   When we designed the garden we planted shrubs to act as roosting and shelter for many of the birds.  Some of these shrubs are berry-bearing, providing food in the fall for berry eaters, like the orioles. My neighbor has a mulberry tree, a magnet for a variety of species.  I have a love-hate relationship with this particular tree.  I love the birds it attracts but I hate the mess the berries make on my cement walk.

    Adding a birdbath is essential for attracting birds. They both need and love water. My next project is to add a small fountain to my bird-bath, as many birds find spraying water irresistible.
Time for a bath

American Goldfinch eating thistle  up-side down
    We grow many annual and perennial flowers and allow them to go to seed for the nourishment of our seed eaters, like the American Goldfinches. I plant bee balm, butterfly weed and butterfly bush, bee balm and an annual sage especially for the hummingbirds.
Love, love love these tiny jewels

    There are also lots of hiding places for the birds who forage on the ground, like the robins and the white-throated sparrows.

    May is a favorite month for back yard birdwatchers.  The orioles arrive, set up housekeeping in a tall oak and raise a family.  If I'm lucky, I get to watch them teach the fledglings to fly!  Their clear joyful whistling song can be heard throughout the neighborhood during the spring mating season.  It reminds me of a teenage boy's wolf whistle, not heard by this old girl in many years!

Yellow Warbler
      May is also a good month to spot some warblers on their trip further north. I've spotted yellow-rumped warblers, black throated blue warblers and yellow warblers.  These little guys are not easy to see and a joy when I do catch a glimpse.
Yellow -Rumped Warbler

    During the winter, we provide suet for the woodpeckers, safflower seed for the cardinals, thistle for the finches and sunflower seeds for most everyone who passes through, including, mourning doves, blue jays, chickadees and tufted titmice and of course sparrows.

    In every season, in every kind of weather, on every day of the year, I can depend on my winged friends to brighten my day.  Observing  backyard birds provides a welcome respite from the stresses of the day.  They are colorful on a dull day, spirited when I'm feeling low on energy and instructive if I pay attention to their habits.

    I do love the birds!

Today's Take-Away -  Inviting birds to share the yard is good for me and good for the birds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...