Attract New Birds to Your Backyard
With millions of birds living in the Pacific Northwest it’s easy to think that all of the vast tree friendly neighborhoods in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, West Linn, Aloha and more would be home to a bird population far more diverse than our human population. Oddly, it’s not true. Expect to see a robin, crow, starling or sparrow, and probably not much else unless you put in some real effort. Many reasons impact where certain birds can be found; not all birds call trees home and many of those that do are territorial and migratory. While birds that typically nest on the ground find the city and suburbs dangerous, lurking with pets and people. All of the urban development in Portland isn’t helping either, it destroys bird living and nesting areas and forces many species to move elsewhere. Luckily, there are a few tactics you can try to increase the diversity of birds in your backyard.
How to Attract New Birds
The most important thing to remember when trying to attract new birds to your yard is that new tactics will attract new birds. Here are a few that have proven successful time and time again.
- Bring in the birdhouses – While a bird house seems like the 3rd grader idea to bring new birds to the backyard, the reason why birdhouses work is commonly misunderstood. Common birds have already discovered places to nest in the area, which is why there are so many of them. Research the preferences of different birds and build a birdhouse accordingly. A birdhouse that is appealing to an uncommon bird will offer a new nesting site protected from predators and weather, thus a way to sustain life in unfamiliar territory.
- Make a bird buffet – One of the easiest ways to attract new birds is to add new foods. Look up what sorts of seeds, nuts, fruits or plants are most attractive to new birds and then stash them around the yard in bird feeders. It shouldn’t take too long for new birds to arrive and investigate.
- Even birds like waterside dining – Not all birds won’t eat from bird feeders, but all birds need water. A good, large water source, or many smaller ones, will give birds or all types a reliable place to find water. Birds have keen hearing, and moving water will be heard from greater distances. Consider a bubbling bird bath or full fledged water feature if birds are your thing.
- Behold bird friendly landscaping – Yes, this is a thing. Bird friendly landscaping features native plants with thick coverage to offer familiar shelter for regional birds. To make plants even more effective, choose trees and shrubs with seeds and fruits the birds will enjoy as a natural food source. On a budget – an old Christmas tree makes great shelter for birds if you have a place to keep in the yard. A side note – native plants also help to create a drought resistant landscape.
After you’ve tried one or all of the above, be patient and watch your yard closely. Despite loving the new food and water, they may still be in and out of the backyard at first. The longer food, water, and shelter are available, the more birds, and likely uncommon birds you’ll see for longer periods of time. Trust us.
Bird Friendly Landscaping in Portland
All Oregon Landscaping provides native plant expertise, water feature design and build, and any other landscaping to help you enjoy the birds in your backyard. We work in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, West Linn, Aloha and more. Give us a call to talk about your backyard plans, or tell us how you’ve been able to attract new birds in the comments!