A beautiful summer sunrise just wouldn’t be the same without some invigorating birdsong to accompany it! Many people admire these feathery friends for their majestic, musical beauty, but if you’re a gardener, you also know how important they are for your local ecosystem. If you’re looking for some new ways to keep birds hanging around your backyard space all year long, we’ve got some ideas to help you create the perfect outdoor paradise!
Plant Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials
If you want to attract birds, you’re going to need some trees! Planting a variety of trees and shrubs in your garden is a surefire way to add visual interest to your space and get those birds flocking in, as they provide essential shelter, seasonal food sources, and protection from predators. We recommend planting native tree species in your garden to help reclaim the bird’s natural habitat. Some of our favourites include:
- Nanking Cherry
- Upright Junipers
- Virginia Creeper
Build a Birdhouse
Another perfect way to house birds year-round in your backyard is to install birdhouses or nesting boxes. The trick is to find safe, practical places to hang them, so you provide your birds with secure shelter without cluttering up your outdoor space. Remember that each bird has different nesting preferences, so do your research to figure out what your birds will like best. Here are some birdhouse design ideas to get you started:
- Natural woods: The natural finish of wooded birdhouses greatly appeals to birds while maintaining the natural aesthetic of your garden.
- Colours: If your garden is already bursting with colourful flowers, you can easily accentuate their vibrant blooms by adding some painted birdhouses. Just remember to stick with more metallic or earthy tones, like blacks, silvers, blues, and greens, as these are the most attractive colours for birds.
- Winter interest: Birdhouses are best cleaned, readied, and hung for the nesting season in the spring. However, a few songbird species don’t migrate, and so they’ll be looking for shelter during the winter months as well. Therefore, keep your birdhouses clean year-round to provide continuous shelter for your feathered friends. Even if your birdhouses don’t get used, they’ll still add some character to your sleepy winter landscape.
- Group them together: Putting a group of birdhouses together makes for a stunning display and can transform your garden into the talk of the neighbourhood! Try hanging a collection of birdhouses on the side of your house, or mount several birdhouses to a central post in your garden for something a little more avant-garde.
Location is Key
Hang or mount your birdhouses high enough to keep them out of reach from predators, as this ensures your garden is a safe place for nesting birds and allows both you and your avian guests to enjoy your garden without pestering each other. Ideal mounting locations include the sides of houses or garden sheds, tree trunks, and fence posts.
Again, don’t forget about predation; many sneaky predators—including raccoons, rats, snakes, chipmunks, squirrels, and cats—target birdhouses as an easy food source. When mounting your birdhouses, keep them away from easily climbable materials or thick vegetation to help make them harder targets. Additionally, make sure your birdhouses are not exposed to heavy rainfall or direct heat and keep them away from busy feeders and water fountains.
Whatever your gardening and birding needs are for 2023, our dedicated team can help. Stop by our Sherwood Park location or contact one of our landscaping pros for more advice on bird sanctuary designs for the Edmonton area today!