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4 Easy Steps To Attract More Birds To Your Property

1)  Water
Place birdbaths throughout your garden/yard but do not place them near shrubs or tall plants that provide hiding places for cats.  Keep baths clean and fresh.  Most birds do not like water that is over 1 1/2 inches  deep and prefer the bath to be elevated from the ground.  I rinse my baths with a weak solution of bleach once every five days to kill bacteria.  
If feasible, provide a running fountain or drip water into a shallow container.  The sound and movement of the water will attract the birds.  A small man-made pond is a gathering place for birds.  Our natural pond is teeming with bird activity.  You can even provide a 'mister' which is available in some nurseries or Wild birds Unlimited Stores.
2)  Plantings(food)
Concentrate on landscaping with native species to your area.  Provide fruit bearing shrubs and vines.  In our area we have maintained the wild huckleberry  barberry bushes, wild grapes and honeysuckle vines that border our property.
Additionally,  We have planted (4)elderberry and high bush cranberry along the perimeters.  Plant a diverse array of trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers both annuals and perennials.  Blue birds are attracted to orchards and have chosen to nest in ours.  We planted several small 'Nanking' cherry bushes as well as golden raspberries and hybrid blueberries.  We cover only one or two bushes of each  for our own use and the rest we leave for the wildlife.  Evergreen trees provide winter shelter for non migrating birds.  Mulch your planting.  Mulch conserves moisture, discourages weeds and entices bugs.
3) Shelter
Provide an adequate amount of  bird houses with the proper entrance dimensions for a variety of birds and allow brush piles on your property line.  Brush piles do not need to be unsightly if you keep them to a low profile or hide them behind a fence.  Cardinals, to name a few, love to nest in brush piles.
All bug eating birds are Natures natural pest control.  Encourage the not so popular sparrows and you will be rewarded.  They are excellent bug control machines.   If you provide enough living space and quarters for all the birds you will be able to enjoy many species. Bird Houses  
Audubon Society Specs. For Houses
4) Avoid using pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
Poisons will destroy the beneficial soil inhabitants and may sicken or kill the birds and beneficial pollinators such as butterflies and bees.  One known cause of concern,  is that bird eggs become fragile and crush easily with  just the weight of the nesting bird.

Bird Lover's

Want to attract Woodpeckers to your yard?
Try giving them a little extra treat instead of just suet.  I ran across this tip in the magazine Birds & Blooms.  Set up a peanut feeder and watch  the birds flock to it.  You will have to deposit a few hunks of suet in the peanut feeder at first in order to attract the woodpeckers.  Before you know it, they will start cleaning the feeder out.  Chickadees, titmice and nuthatches enjoy them also.

Use unsalted shelled peanuts only.

Brief excerpt from the United States Bureau of Biological Survey survey of he eating habits of wild birds in the U.S. 1885. Sixty thousand birds of over 400 species were examined and analyzed.
Downy Woodpeckers were observed eating 43 species of bugs
Horned Larks, sixty species
Flickers, 89 species--love ants
Robins, 223 species including --March fly larvae and of course worms.
Cardinal. 81 species
Bluebirds, 166 species
Phoebes, 121 species
Wood Pewees, 131 species
Nighthawks 600 species.
The chart goes on but way to numerous to mention but it does prove to most people that a healthy bird population is a gardeners best friend.
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