Backyard bird habitats: how to create them and ensure they thrive

Nothing quite accompanies a garden better than birdsong and thriving space. This is all thanks to our feathered pollinator friends. To maintain a lively and lush garden space, establishing backyard bird habitats is crucial. This is not only inviting for nature’s gardeners but provides them with a safe haven. This guide introduces you to the ways you can harbour an inviting environment for birds and maintain it for many visits to come.

Protecting pollinators and housing backyard bird habitats

While any garden’s success is due to many long hours toiling in the beds and soil, we have a lot to be thankful for from our fellow workers in wildlife. From pest-reducing beneficial insects, to busy bees and hummingbirds acting as pollinators, a flourishing garden is a direct result of providing healthy backyard bird habitats. Creating the right set of conditions and environments is fundamental to achieving a healthy garden space, with minimal effort. Follow these steps and tips to curate a charming garden space ideal for fostering birds.

4 tips to create a safe haven for birds

Some of the top tips for housing wild birds in your garden comes down to providing a clean, safe and welcoming environment. Start on the right track by:

1. Cleaning and filling feeders and birdbaths

Maintaining an enticing environment is a must. Think of a steady supply of fresh seed and freshly filled splash baths. Nothing quite does the job than a hotel habitat offering food and a cleaning station. When filling hummingbird feeders, however, avoid using sugar water with red dye in it and rather opt to make your own.

Recipe for sugar water:

Mix four parts of water to one part of sugar. It’s advisable to boil the sugar water and then let it cool. Then, be sure to change out the sugar water every few days. You can store extra sugar water in your refrigerator for up to a week or more.

2. Avoiding pesticides

While we want to keep pests away, using pesticides harms the birdlife in our gardens. By spraying and laying out pesticides, birds feed on and collect tainted insects for their young. Over time, this will harm birds with continued exposure. We suggest using organic pesticides to reduce secondary poisoning.

3. Preventing dangerous window strikes

Putting up deterrents to discourage birds from coming too close to windows will help them from having unnecessary injuries. Nothing is more heartbreaking than having beautifully clean windows that look like an extension of the sky for our feathered friends. Use stickers, decals or moving objects like wind chimes by windows to keep birds from flying too close.

4. Keeping hunting pets monitored and inside

Have dogs or cats that love to hunt? You’ll need to keep an eye on them and their behaviour so they won’t interfere with visiting birdlife.

Pollinator bed ideas

In addition to creating a bird haven in your backyard, establishing pollinator beds will increase bird visitors. Introduce insect pollinators and birds to the garden by:

  • Staggering plants with taller plants in the back and shorter plants in the front.
  • Attracting pollinators with variations of vertical interest with taller plants, shrubs, or vines on a trellis.
  • Repeating colours throughout the flower beds to create a sense of unity.
  • Choosing a selection of plants to achieve flowering all season long to provide a steady supply of resources (and more reasons for them to come back).
  • Keep plants indigenous to your area, while incorporating plants with berries and seeds.

Attract birds, especially hummingbirds

While all birds are a true delight in the garden, hummingbirds are the star of the show! Their constant flying and feeding contributes to a central pollinator role in the garden. They have especially good eyesight for seeing colours and recognising good food sources. In particular, they are drawn to the colour red and associate it with high sources of sugary nectar. As such, we suggest planting high volumes of red plants in your garden, like hibiscus or daylily.

General tips

Minimising unnecessary lawn space and increasing a natural meadow space does wonders for backyard bird habitats. You can improve your garden by enhancing it with shrubs, maintaining trees for roosting and nesting, as well as providing protection from strong winds and rains. Try to introduce varying heights of plants, from canopies, shrubs to long grasses for additional protected spaces.

Do it for the birds

Enjoying a thriving garden space will be even more pleasurable when you know you have done your part by creating backyard bird habitats. For more ideas on how you can establish a wildlife-friendly garden, contact us