• Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This was a very helpful lesson,  booth because I see that my garden already has many  features for attracting birds:purple cornflower, purple aster, crab apple trees, pine trees, leaf mulch, stumps, honey suckle etc,  but also has many gaps.   I would like to plant sunflowers this year,  find space for a native oak tree, a chokecherry and a willow, and particularly improve on the bird baths I have,  none of which has many of the recommended features and placement.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am considering a water source for the birds that visit my yard. Also, I am keen on attracting blue birds- so I will be looking at the appropriate nesting box and possibly supplying mealworms. I am also planning two gardens that should help improve the current habitat
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have focused on improving my feeder setup this year and have enjoyed the winter bird watching.  I have a bird bath, but am considering a heater so that I can keep it functional through the winter.  I'd also love to add a solar pump for water movement.  As warmer temperatures come I am looking forward to planting more flowers for nectar.  There are already quite a few oaks, birches and a willow tree that becomes quite a hub of bird activity in spring and summer.  This year's big project will be replacing the burning bush with a native shrub that will provide better shelter and fruit.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      We just built a house last year on what used to be a farmer's field, so our yard was an acre of flat, blank slate. No mature landscaping. I had the chance to get some plantings in last summer. I concentrated on mostly native plants for pollinators but have a few "well behaved" non native favorites as well. In the summer I have 2 birdbaths (one has a solar waterfall feature), several birdfeeders and a few birdhouses but I have learned now what better kinds of seed to offer and where to better place my houses. Unfortunately we had to get the foundation of the house sprayed for spiders which I was not thrilled about but my flower beds went untouched. Anyways, I have lots of great ideas planned for my future gardens... Small to medium sized trees, berry bushes, tall grasses, and flowering perennials from all-native-selling nurseries. Possibly a small pond or water feature. There are so many possibilities it makes my head spin (in a good way)!!
    • laurel
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I have a new feeder, not very popular yet.  I think I have to experiment with types of seed. As for plants--lots of mustard garlic, and many black walnut trees.  Not much light. Many volunteer plants like snow drops, winter aconite, squill, dafs, forget-me-nots, dame's rocket, a few strawberries.  Not very bird friendly.  I'd like to add coneflower, spiraea, other natives.  But I don't know if there's enough light.  Maybe I have to cut down some walnuts? I'd like to have different kinds of trees, but walnuts are very pushy. I've noticed as I walk down my street that the block to the south of me sustains more birds than our block.  I think it's because there are lots of sheltering trees and bushes and shrubs.  I'm always struck by the birdsong that becomes apparent as I walk south.
    • Christi-June
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      We leave feeders and scatter seeds as well.  As for berries we unfortunately have some invasives that we need to get rid of (one is known to poison birds which explains why we never see them eat it, I have clipped all the berries and discarded them for now.  We do have some holly.  The flowers I have are not natives, I would like to have native wildflowers and plan on making our mound septic a wildflower meadow. I have seen a lot of daddy long legs in our yard and I suspect we have other insects under the fallen leaves which we have not raked.
      • Bruce
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        What is the invasive that you need to get rid of, and where are you geographically?  Thanks, Bruce
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I have two oak trees.  I have quite a few boxwoods and  nandinas as one of our local horticulturists swears by them.  The cultivars don't have berries which is good, but the old one that was in our yard when we bought the house does.  Next year I will prune out the berries.  I put in two pollinator gardens and plan to covert more areas to native plants this spring.  I already had two Turk's Caps which the hummers love.  I live in North Central Texas.  Fortunately, we have a native plant society which I belong to.  We have several nurseries that carry native plants, including one that has a large selection.  The native plant society also has a plant sale in the fall.  On my to-buy list are a Mexican plum and some type of evergreen tree.  I also believe that I will plant a Yaupon holly which will give me another small tree.  And I will add some native grasses (I have a very large backyard.) as I learned this fall that butterflies like to rest on the blades of these grasses.  I do have a bird bath and added a small plastic bowl to one of my pollinator gardens, put some rocks in it and added water for the butterflies.  My sparrows discovered it and prefer it to the birdbath.  I have many bird feeders: peanuts in and out of the shells, safflower, sunflower hearts, a flaming hot seed cake and a squirrel feeder on the back fence.
    • Ilona
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm in the process of adding native plants to my yard. I'm removing all non-native shrubs and have added a pollinator garden.  I have an oak tree and shagbark hickory, but most of the remaining trees are Norway maples which I can't get rid of. I'm also eliminating my entire front lawn and adding native plants. My biggest challenge is finding the native plants for my area. Most nurseries carry invasive plants or cultivars.
    • Mary Jo
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      We are fortunate to have a number of trees in our yard and all around us in our urban neighborhood.  There are lots of pine trees, we have hickory trees in our yard and a water oak as well as dogwood and red mulberry.  I'm trying to plant more native shrubs and some smaller native trees and just added a pollinator garden inner front yard which has been fun to watch the butterflies and hummingbirds flying around and enjoying the nectar. We have numerous bird baths which I try to keep clean and one fountain for the birds as well.  They definitely love the water!  I have a number of bird feeders and we really enjoy watching the birds at our feeders.  We were lucky to have a young barred owl in our oak tree this spring that hung out during the day and slept and would occasionally decide to perch on our fence and the top of our patio umbrella-we called her Sage.  She has since moved on but we hear owls frequently.  I have to say I am enjoying the process of trying to make our yard more bird, and insect friendly.  I still have some ornamental shrubs and trees but adding more native plants is a goal for me.        
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in the city, in a rowhouse, which means my yard is very small and the neighbors are extremely close in, front and back. But it doesn't mean that I'm prevented from providing for birds and other wildlife wherever I have space. In front, I had a dogwood tree until last year, when it died. Birds, squirrels and insects made good use of it. So I plan to replace it, now that the cicadas are gone. There is a yew bush out front, and a big water dish on the ground. A gourd that is hung under the awning, houses wrens every year. The robins use the supports for hanging nesting material (long grasses) until they are dry. I planted a bed of purple coneflower, which attracts American goldfinches when the flowers are gone. There's a patch of catnip which is liked by bees and butterflies and other insects. I spread black oil sunflower seeds on the sidewalk near the street, in the early morning. The neighbors don't like it, but many birds come to eat it and some of those are pigeons, who eat the shells too, so the concern over attracting rats is modified. I get several types of sparrows, robins, cardinals, wrens, red-headed finches, blue jays, chickadees who come in the winter, juncos in the winter, rock pigeons in all varieties who come every day, the same individuals. At least two types of woodpeckers. Sadly, sometimes a peregrine falcon or a hawk. In the back I have a hedgerow and next to it is a shallow birdbath on a stand. A wren usually makes a nest in the top of the hedge. A cranberry viburnum provides red berries and shelter. I have a few bee balm plants, and a native rose that provides orange hips. A group of salvia, some black-eyed Susans. I have lots of non-natives too, like the large, tall, old butterfly bush. Butterflies ( two types of swallowtails, monarchs, and lots of smaller ones) flock to it like nothing else, so it does provide support. One year nine swallowtail caterpillars wintered over and emerged in spring. There's a shelter box on the back fence and a small bird bath on the balcony. I could add a brush pile but the neighbors wouldn't really get that. I'd like to add some of the native coral honeysuckle. I don't use any feeders, as they do attracts rats here.
    • Leonard
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Our yard is very bird friendly based on the number of species that visit. It is still a work in progress as we are adding native plants and we need to add more fruit bearing bushes/trees. We also have a bird bath that I am very diligent with cleaning and maintaining fresh water and we have various feeders to add to their diets year round.
    • Bobbie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We have a lot of birds in our yard/property but we could plant more oaks and elderberries for sure. There's a hawthorn that the birds seem to appreciate throughout the winter for berries and shelter. By spring its been picked clean! I'd like to add more for ground cover nesting, grasses and perennials. I'm not good at identifying birds yet but they make me feel better just the same!
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I work at the Missaukee Conservatoin District and we recently construced a bird bline for bird watching. We have a trail system that includes pine trees, hardwoods, a butterfly and pollinator garden, and native grasses along the trail. The plants that we currently have offer a variety of seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, nectoar, flowers, and plants for other intstects. Since, we have have plants that can provie food to birds in the summer we will work on having seed out in the winter. We could also provide a watering source and additonal bird boxes.
    • Jenifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      I have been trying to make sure that I have all of the components needed for birds in my yard - water, food, etc. I face a huge challenge though created by previous owners. I have shelter but the bushes I have against the edge of my back property are burning bush, which lines the entire back edge. The bushes are so huge, I cannot dig them out. I will have to hire, I think, someone with a bulldozer to take out the roots. I need to think about redesigning that entire space. I live in Connecticut. Any suggestions would be great. My neighbors behind me don’t want to see the plants go because they are a great screen, but the woods close to me are full of these invasives. So, I am looking for screening plants - some natives that get large - but also perhaps a few fruit trees to provide more food for the birds. I thought about vibernum but have read that the virbernum beetle has decimated many of the plants in this family in Connecticut.
      • Jackie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Why don't you like the burning bushes in your yard?  Are they bad for the birds in some way?
      • Jackie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3

        @Jackie Ah, nevermind, I just learned the answer in the next chapter...because birds don't use these invasive species like they do native ones and, thus, they grow out of proportion!

    • Noreen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I've got all of the above always but want more!
    • Armando
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      In my yard, there are currently bird feeders with seeds, a hanging water dish, slugs, snails, woodlice, and some plants that provide nectar or even tasty flower buds. I didn't know that problematic snails were mainly invasive ones, and that the Americas had so many native snails that are so small! I am surprised to know that some birds eat these critters. It had never crossed my mind. I will probably look into how I can help out the native snails and thus the birds too.
    • Via
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      My yard was all the above exept water. Birds love our yard, and American Robins nest on our balcony yearly. It's been like that for as long as I can remember.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      I unfortunately have no oak trees, but I did save our neighbor's huge oak from being cut down! I was out in my garden and the workmen actually came over to ask me whether or not to cut it down! Amazing! I told them it was a very important tree for wildlife....and they didn't cut it down....One of those times I was in the right place at the right time :)  The many huge pines that surround my home are not native, but they at least provide excellent shelter during the long, cold, midwestern winter. I learned from this lesson that my large native prairie garden is a great source of caterpillars for baby birds. My prairie garden has many native purple coneflowers, so it’s fun to see flocks of goldfinches descend on them for their seeds in the fall. I learned in this lesson that some of my practices as a gardener for wildlife are especially helpful to insects and invertebrates: 1) I have left a corner of the back yard wild (completely undisturbed) and take Christmas trees there, where I pile up large branches to decay. 2) I hold off on raking as long as possible. I was also pleased to learn that I can research nesting boxes and where to place them from Nest Watch on the Cornell Ornithology Lab website.
    • Our yard has all of the above except berries. It attracts all of the birds common around here, and we’ve had nests of robins, song sparrows, house finches, cardinals, catbirds, and Carolina wrens in our yard. It is so neat to provide a safe location for them!
    • Kristie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Both backyard and front yard presents plenty of space for shelter and nesting. We have a plum tree and there are plenty of insects and invertebrates. Could increase food production by adding more berries, more nectar-producing flowers, possibly adding a water bath. As far as nuts and seeds can add sunflowers to our garden plan.
    • Alejandro
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Although in my small garden I have a wide variety of plants, I am not sure of those that produce seeds for birds, so my next task will be to find out and acquire some known plants, such as sunflowers and others that produce small pods. I have planted whose flowers attract hummingbirds, at least five different species, but I think it is not enough, so I have two drinking fountains, where they also use it as Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer, oriols and sparrows. I have a water source, but somewhat neglected, now I know I have to keep it functional all the time. Although in my small garden I cannot have those big trees Prunus salicifolia, in my neighborhood there are larger gardens with those trees and I have counted that they attract more than 30 species of birds, including those migratory, such as several species of warblers when there are no fruits, that is, they not only visit the tree for the fruit, also for the invertebrates that live there. The Mexican Finch eats all the fruits of one of my apple trees, another tree still do not discover it, so I can eat some apples. By the way, the previous scientific name of the Mexican Finch was  Carpodacus mexicanus, which from Latin means "Mexican fruit eater", now I understand it. My purpose, to improve my garden is to offer more variety of food sources (snails and other invertebrates) and, if I'm lucky, places to nest. It is strange that in the plant markets of Mexico City, one of the largest in the world, there is not much variety of native plants and they prefer to sell exotic plants, so I will explore with wild native plants since I live near a forest, although, surely, I will have to understand how to maintain them properly.
    • Raj
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Most birds that visit my backyard come to eat seeds and insects, drink water, and build nesting sites.I think I should also install a birdbath so that birds can bathe and have fun.
    • Stacey
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have a number of native shrubs, perennials...producing some berries (Eastern Red Cedar, Smooth rose, Flowering Raspberry, Asters (3 species), Goldenrods (3 species), violets, wild ginger, leaf litter, logs and brush piles, rocks throughout. A small pond with waterfall and a couple of nest boxes, feeders.... My issue is a few of the larger trees are non native-and though I would like to remove them-they will be trickier to get out-may need to call on reinforcements to remove i.e. Amur Maple, Ivory Silk Lilac, Colorado Blue Spruce, White Mulberry...I would love to replace with Ironwood, an Oak and possibly Hemlock or White spruce/Pine
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I want to increase the amount of cover and nuts we provide. We have a few birdbaths, but I've like to have a water feature eventually.
    • Frank
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lots of evergreens and oaks in the yard.