[Tweeters] Quit bird feeders...

Jeffrey Bryant jbryant_68 at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 1 09:21:08 PDT 2021

Native plants are an excellent way to attract birds to your yard, but it’s only part of the story. As the planner and caretaker of a Seattle yard that garnered me a 137- (plus two provisional) species yardlist, let me offer a few more bits of advice.
Don’t overmanicure the garden. Cutting off that eyesore snag robs
flycatchers of perches, chickadees of potential nest holes, and woodpeckers of drumming posts. Clearing out all those brushy, weedy patches steals prime habitat from skulky birds like towhees, Fox Sparrows and MacGillivray’s Warbler. Deadheading those flowering perennials means more flowers for you, but less food for all the seed eaters. My garden gets carefully tended right around the house, but gets a bit wilder (and native-er) around the periphery.
Obviously, no insecticides! As someone else alluded to, lots of small passerines love aphids. My birches are dripping aphids and inchworms just in time for fall migration, bringing mixed flocks of warblers, vireos, tits, etc.
By far the BEST bird attractant is water. Any given plant or feeder will only appeal to a certain small subset of the species in the area, but they ALL need to drink and bathe. Not everyone has the space/time/budget to put in a water feature, but even a good-sized birdbath or mister will bring them in. My small pond has been bathtub and/or fountain for many species that would never come to my plantings or a feeder, like Barred Owl, Red Crossbill, Townsend’s Solitaire. Then there’s the occasional heron drawn by the mosquito-control goldfish.
In short, there’s no single-pronged trick to bringing birds to the yard. They have the same needs as we do: food, water, shelter. The more of those things you offer, the more birds you can bring in.

Jeff Bryant
Jbryant_68 AT yahoo

Sent from my iPad

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