Sign up for our newsletter:
4 clever ways to attract birds and butterflies to your garden6 March 2018
Nothing breathes life into a garden than visits from birds and butterflies. It’s not so difficult to make your garden more inviting for birds and butterflies. They compliment the presence of your ornamental vegetation and add a natural flair of motion and color into your garden. There are a number of easy ways to make your garden into a habitat for the birds and butterflies. If you have a knack for bird watching, you will love to see the effects of these simple changes in your garden.
Let’s take a look at some clever ways to attract birds and butterflies to your garden
1. Using bird feeders
There are various types of bird feeders you can have in your garden. Gravity feeders have a roof with translucent or transparent sides so the food content inside is visible to the birds to draw them in. Open shelf feeders are much simpler and don’t have any sides. These open feeders allow full view of the birds that visit. Ground feeders are placed on the ground and invite birds that normally would not visit the feeders hung from trees.
2. Intelligent placement of bird feeders
The position of your bird feeder can determine the kind of birds that will visit the feeder. If you want your bird feeder to attract many different kinds of birds of varying sizes, your best bet is to go for open shelf or tray bird feeders. If you want to attract ground feeding birds like sparrows, juncos and towhees, place the open shelf bird feeder about three feet high. Alternatively, you can place your bird feeder around 6 to 12 feet from trees and bushes. This height will allow the visiting birds to escape as soon as they spot a predator. Make sure you test the view of the bird feeder from your home, so you can watch the birds from indoors.
3. Variety of plants
It is important to create a canopy of shrubs, vines, flowers and trees to attract wildlife throughout the year. Plants that bloom during the summer produce lots of nectar which will draw in butterflies and humming birds. Make sure you plant the nectar producing plants in the sunny spots of your garden that are protected from the wind. Butterflies are cold blooded animals that prefer warm conditions with sufficient windbreak. Try to have flowers like bee balm, cardinal flower, chrysanthemums, delphinium, columbine, pincushion and salvia. Shrubs that attract butterflies along with humming birds include rosemary, lavender, lilac, fuchsia, cotoneaster, butterfly bush and bluebeard. To attract those seed eating birds, add marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias and cleomes in your garden.
4. Providing a water source
By creating places that make for an easy perch, you can make your birdbaths accessible for butterflies too. You can pull this off simply by chucking in a few rocks that protrude above the water surface. You can make any shallow container that is 3 inches deep at most, a good water source for birds and butterflies. Size of the container is not important. Just make sure that the edges of the container provide adequate slope. During the winter season, water sources are scarce for the wildlife so make sure you replace the water in the water bath frequently, to keep the water clean as well as safe for the visiting birds.