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Attract Birds to your Garden

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My garden has been certified as a wildlife sanctuary.  In previous posts I have described how to get that certification.  The National Wildlife Federation is a great resource for information on wildlife in your yard.  Diversity is an important aspect of keeping our planet alive and healthy.

Here are some great suggestions from the National Wildlife Federation for adding bird food to your yards on the cheap.

Resourceful bird lovers can continue to attract birds without breaking the bank with the following tips! Plus, because you are such a good friend to local birds, we’d love to have you take part in our ADVANCED Bird-Friendly Wildlife Habitat® certification program! (see sidebar for details)

  1. Plant Natural Feeders — Birds use feeders to supplement the natural foods they find in the landscape. By planting shrubs, trees and other plants, you’ll feed birds with seeds, berries, nuts, sap and nectar as well as shelter and nesting places. Once planted, they’ll provide free bird food for years to come.
  2. Attract Birds with Water — Even if you can’t provide food, a simple bird bath with clean water will attract plenty of birds to your yard. Replace the water every three days to keep the bath clean and to avoid mosquito problems.
  3. Free Food — Make your own suet by recycling bacon grease. Next time you fry up a batch of bacon, pour the grease into a plastic container and freeze it. You can then put it out in a suet cage or mesh onion bags as a high calorie treat for birds such as woodpeckers, jays and chickadees.
  4. Buy in Bulk — If you love watching the constant activity of birds visiting your feeders, consider buying seed in bulk. Avoid seed blends which often have “filler” seeds that most birds toss aside. Be sure to offer black-oil sunflower seed, which all feeder birds relish.
  5. Grow Your Own Feeders — Plant sunflowers instead of buying expensive sunflower seed. The flowers look beautiful and also provide nectar for bees and other beneficial insects. In the fall, cut the flower heads and hang them in the yard as home-grown bird feeders.

Once you’ve done this plan to sit on the porch with a camera a a pair of binoculars and enjoy the songs and coos of our feathered friends.

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