Gardeners often choose plants based on color, texture, and fragrance. If you also include a few plants that will attract birds, you can make your garden a thriving bird habitat. Several native shrubs, annuals, and perennials, as well as many cultivated plants, can be used to attract birds to your garden. As birds begin to visit and feed in your garden, they will also stay through the winter months if you provide bird feed and water. Your garden will become a place of interest and beauty all year round.
Attracting a variety of birds to your garden is simple enough if you supply the three basics: food, water, and shelter. With this in mind, consider the following bird-friendly plants and shrubs for your garden. Your landscape will quickly become a haven for songbirds, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
We have a wide variety of birds attracting shrubs and trees at Wilson’s. You will also find birdbaths and other water features plus friendly advice on making your garden a natural habitat for birds.
"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. " Lou Holt
Several Backyard Birds And Their Favorite Foods
- American Goldfinch: Niger thistle seeds, broken sunflower hearts, oil-type sunflower seeds.
- Northern Cardinal: Sunflower seeds of all types, safflower, cracked corn, millet, other seeds, unsalted nutmeats, raisins.
- Black-capped Chickadee: Oil-type sunflower seeds, cracked unsalted nutmeats, safflower, suet.
- Dark-eyed Junco: Red or white proso millet, finely cracked corn, oil-type sunflower seed, unsalted nutmeats.
- Grosbeaks: Sunflower seeds of all types, safflower, cracked corn.
- Mourning Dove: Oil-type sunflower seeds, white and red proso millet, safflower, cracked corn, wheat, milo, other seeds.
- Native Sparrows: Red or white proso millet, oil-type sunflower seeds, cracked corn, some safflower.
- Woodpeckers: Suet, unsalted nutmeats, sunflower seeds, cracked corn.
Seeds And Their Value To Birds
- Sunflower – High in protein and fats
- Black Sunflower – High in oil.
- Sunflower Kernel – High in energy.
- Cracked Corn – Carbohydrates, grit to grind seeds.
- Safflower – High in oils, but only specific birds will eat it.
- Peanut Kernels – High in fat and calories
- Thistle (Nyger) - High in oil.
- Yellow Millet - Vitamins, and protein
Occasionally providing grit, such as sand or fine poultry or canary grit, is also beneficial because it is retained in the gizzard where it helps in grinding seeds. Eggshells or crushed limestone can serve as grit and may provide a needed calcium source during the egg-laying season. Grit can be mixed with seeds or placed in a tray or on the ground.
Suet is especially attractive to insect-eaters such as woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches and is a good winter energy source. Feed your birds suet during cool weather and winter months. Discontinue use when high temperatures reach 70 degrees.