Do some research. Find out what type of birds are in your
area and are likely to be attracted to your sanctuary. While
you're at it, obtain a field guide with which to identify the birds that
will soon frequent your yard. One of the easiest ways is to buy feeders and seed, but you can also plant trees and shrubs to attract birds. Stick with native plants and avoid ornamental plants. Use plants that provide fruit or nectar. Offer shelter. Different species nest in different places; study the birds to determine what you can provide. If you are planning on building nesting boxes, take note that boxes with different holes, shapes, and orientations will attract different species. Make sure that your nest box has adequate ventilation, and is supplied with a "baffle" and reinforcement ring at the opening that will prevent predators from entering. You can also provide nesting material, such as string, hair, or other fibers.
Don't put it right next to a feeder, as the hustle and bustle can discourage birds from using the shelter to nest.
Give them nesting material.

Stuff mesh bags with pieces of yarn or string, straw, pet fur, hair from your comb, small bits of cloth, and anything a bird can use to make a nest.  Hang the bag near the nest boxes in spring.
Provide grit.
Birds don't have teeth to chew their food, so they swallow bits of sand that help grind the food in their gizzard.  You can help by offering crushed eggshells; this serves a dual purpose by giving the birds calcium needed for egg laying. Be sure to bake the eggshells to kill Salmonella and other pathogens before offering them.
Create a water source.

Birds are attracted to the sound of dripping or moving water. You can buy a bird bath or create a shallow pond with a fountain. If you're short on time or resources, you can hang a water-filled container with a hole on the bottom above a dish. Try not to place the water source near trees or bushes where cats can hide before pouncing. Also make sure the water is not more than 1 inch deep.
Plant native plants.

Use a local field guide or call your local Audubon Society chapter to find out what grows naturally in your region, and add these plants to your garden. Not only are they likely to attract bird and butterfly species, but native plants are more suited to the local climate and tend to be lower maintenance than imports.

  • If you don't have the motivation, time, or resources to create a bird sanctuary in your yard, you can always contribute to a "communal" bird sanctuary. Donate money and/or volunteer hours to conservation organization such as The Nature Conservancy that buys tracts of land and saves them from development.
  • Don't rake the leaves, birds will forage for insects hiding under dead leaves in spring.
  • Keep your feeders, houses, and water sources clean.
  • Don't remove dead trees unless they are a danger - standing dead trees are important nesting and foraging spots for many species especially woodpeckers which eat the insects that infest dead trees.
  • Also try to feed a variety of suet; if you start to feed the birds in the winter, don't stop it as it will likely cause great hardship, or even death, for every bird relying on that feeder.
  • Try to buy bird houses made by companies that mainly sell bird-related items. They will be better-quality houses that are more protective.
  • Don't be discourage different birds don't immediately come to your sanctuary. Birds are often wary of changes in their environment and will take time to warm up to the new feeder or bath.
During winter, never add antifreeze to the water.
Antifreeze is highly toxic and will kill any bird, animal or pet that drinks it, and can cause severe damage or death in humans as well. Antifreeze also tastes sweet, which can serve as incentive for any animals that even happen to smell or taste it. You can buy heaters designed to defrost ponds, fountains, or birdbaths. Floating a tennis ball in the water will also allow you to break and remove ice easily.
Don't place nest boxes too close together. Each bird will establish its own territory, and conflict will ensue.
Never give a bird dryer lint that contains dye or chemicals. (Used in the process of making clothing non-flammable) for nesting material. It is very dangerous. Otherwise it is acceptable.
Try to avoid using chemical pesticides. Parents that are foraging for food will bring poisoned insects back to the nest and entire generations of baby birds can be killed because someone sprayed poison on their sweet corn. Become an organic gardener!
Avoid buying or making bird houses that have a perch on them. This feature just helps predators get into the house. Instead of attracting birds, you might end up losing them.
Female Grackle
ęCopyright Est. February 6th 2007- Sunnys Wildlife All rights reserved.«
Website designed by: Jake S.
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Attracting birds to your backyard provides you with a connection to your local environment. You might never realize how many
different, beautiful and unique
birds live in your neighborhood
until you invite them into
your backyard!
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