• Via
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      In my tiny outdoor space I enjoy seeing American Robins hop, swallows dive, Thrushes sing, and the usually annoying squirrels run around. I still want to make everything squirrel proof, though.
      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        agree on the squirrels.
    • Raj
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in Texas.There are some woods behind my backyard, so many birds come to visit, like cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, carolina wrens, tufted titmouses, carolina chickadees, house finches, American goldfinches, lesser goldfinches, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, mourning doves, white-winged doves, American robins, ruby-throated hummingbirds, crows, ravens, chimney swifts, purple martins, red-tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, Cooper's hawks, black vultures, and cedar waxwings.Other animals include squirrels, raccoons, foxes, lizards, deer, and opposums. I am planning to lessen the amount of lawn we have and add more native plants to my garden and install more bird feeders and houses so a more wide variety of birds come to my backyard.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        This is a great idea!  Most people who only have a bird feeder or bird bath are simply borrowing birds from the landscape that supports them.  To add back is terrific!
    • Jeri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      YARD We are on three-quarters of an acre in Sonoma County, California.  As you can see we have a large lawn; we plan to remove a large portion of the lawn and put in native plants and plants that attract birds and butterflies.  We will also install a water feature for birds - perhaps a shallow "creek" for bathing and drinking. We are very interested in what sorts of plants will do well here and will attract birds and butterflies.
      • Via
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Those are great ideas, and your lawn looks great! Keep up the ideas!
      • Jenifer
        Participant
        Chirps: 18

        @Via You have such a nice sprawling space to work with! Your options are practically unlimited!!

      • Carol
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Would love to see your finished project!  We are in the process of “killing” our lawn and plan to replace with a pollinator/bird border and hard scape.  We are on 1 acre in Western Sonoma County, near Graton.
      • Daniel
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        The Audubon society has a list of plants, by region, that are native and will attract insects (bird food) and birds.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      We are lucky to live on a small lake in Michigan surrounded by about 6 acres of woods. There is about an acre of lawn immediately around the house so our current goal is to transition some of the lawn to native wildflowers. We've decided to start with a teardrop shaped area in the middle of the driveway.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Wow, an acre, that is a lot!  Consider transition zones, as birds love these.  So many people have big trees and lawn and nothing else...try a graduated approach with smaller trees, shrubs, then tall perennials and grasses.  Also, open native grasslands and meadows are rare...ground nesting birds are in trouble from mechanization (mowing) and the fact that these areas are consumed for agriculture and living space.  I am concentrating on these, because I also realize that many invasive plants like these habitats too, so it is a challenge, but very rewarding!
    • Graeme
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We have a huge Mountain Ash tree and a smaller cherry tree in the yard that has always attracted a pretty wide range of birds for feeding, but I want to offer them landscaping that will help them shelter here.
    • Alejandro
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in Mexico City at 2700 meters above sea level, where there are still several green areas in the neighborhood and a forest few kilometers away. I have a small garden where I have several plants as ornament and as fruit trees of apple, peach, pear, plum and lemon. With a couple of hummingbird feeders and a water source for the birds to drink and bathe. In my garden, I like to see plants and birds coming in, as well as other animals like butterflies and bees. Several plants produce flowers (such as roses and cactus), fruit trees at the time, and others. I would like to attach plants that attract more variety of birds, such as those insectivorous and granivorous. Birds have an interest in almost all plants (lesser in roses) and in the land, apparently in search of food. Some species often sing (mainly early morning) since the top of the trees, like Hose Finch, American Robin and Curve-billed Thrasher. Occasionally, some have nested, as swallows (Barn Swallow) at the high of a wall and in a flower pot (Inca Dove). The Spring and Summer are the best seasons to see nesting birds. But Autumn and Winter is better for migratory birds as Wilson's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Just as I want to improve my garden to attract birds, so too do the green areas at my university.
    • I live on a lake in South Carolina. I have a stand of pine trees and then mature hardwoods nearer to the water. I enjoy watching the bald eagles across the lake as well as other birds all through out the year. I have a good variety of birds, rabbits, plenty of squirrels, opossum, deer, snakes, and occasional beaver. Although I do have some bees and butterflies from time to time I'd like to see more. Would like to plant more plants to attract the bees and butterflies.
    • Stacey
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Hi All, I live in an urban yard in southern Ontario...part of what is called the GTA--or Greater Toronto area. I have been "naturescaping" our yard for many years...though I confess to having a few non-native, invasive plants (Amur Maple, White mulberry) that were planted long before I knew the problem they cause for biodiversity. I have been working at removing and replacing with native species everything from woodland understory plants to a pollinator patch in between my neighbours driveway and mine...this year I rebuilt my small garden pond and worked towards including native marginals and making it urban wildlife friendly --so they can get a drink and get out safely (sloped edge with mini steps). Though I have had nest boxes in my garden for may years-this year I had chickadees nest and successfully fledge their babies! They actually fledged yesterday:) I am hoping to continue to add native plants and look forward to seeing who else may visit the yard...
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Our 1-acre yard is primarily trees in the back and grass in the front. We love watching the birds and squirrels, the occasional deer, fox, raccoon, and opossum. We recently visited a native garden and now wish to replicate some of what we saw. We want to remove the invasive vines and plant shrubs and small trees, and some shade-loving plants in the back. In the front, we have been expanding the beds to reduce the grass. We are planting flowers and other plants that attract butterflies or moths and feed birds in the winter. We are hoping to switch over the lawn to some combination of native flowers or ground covers.
    • wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      i have a good sized yard, mostly bare of love.  there are 3 beautiful bountiful old growth lilac bushes, a mock orange, tree, lots of pine trees, and a few scattered unorganized plantings. there are always birds. several sparrow and finch varieties, juncos, warblers, mourning doves, blue jays, hummingbirds, starlings, vireos, sap suckers, flickers. there are plentiful bees, some squirrels, a raccoon or two, occasional skunks, bats, butterflies, slugs.  we are surrounded by farmed fields which spray pesticides :( i would love to attract corvids. i am in eastern canada and want to do most of the work myself. i am naive and untrained and a fits-and-starts type.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Wendy, I love your candor, LOL, and saw myself.  Do it at your own pace, bit by bit over time...every native plant that gets added is a great thing!  Use your winters for learning!  I am in Nova Scotia on Cape Breton.
      • Margo
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        We are retired and rent out our farmland, but still live on our farm in Alberta.  We are surrounded by grain fields which are sprayed several times a year.  That is a big concern for us.  At least we keep our yard (about 8 acres) pesticide free.
    • Summer
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I'm blessed to live on 6 acres in rural Michigan. There's a large blueberry marsh behind my house, and wild blackcaps and blackberries growing on the property. There are several native forbs that grow naturally in the woodland strip that surrounds our property. I have established one native flower bed in front of my house, one flower bed full of nursery plants and one that is mixed on the side of the house. However, our house was built in the 80's on an old farm field, and then was vacant for 2 years before we bought it. My plan is to harvest seeds from my established native flowers, propagate them, and get some in the cool season grassland that surrounds my house. We are also finally getting to replacing last of the windows along the back and getting the siding up, after which I get to design the backyard. I'm thinking of going with a mix of patio and deck and then want to add a water feature and more natives around it. While I'm fairly knowledgeable in both native plants and birds, I'm hoping to gain some insight on how to incorporate them better in my landscaping. I'm also working on removing the invasive Honeysuckle, Multiflora rose, Autumn Olive, and Buckthorn. I pull as much of the garlic mustard I can each year with the hope of at least slowing its spread and reducing its allelopathic effects.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        If you have a good site, stewarding a native area is (IMHO) more important than trying to create a partial artificial one.  Both are good, but areas that are intact are super important.
    • Kristie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Currently I am collecting plants for creating our garden. Inspiration Tuscan style. The space is large enough to create several different outdoor garden rooms. I want to change the fact that currently I do not have a plan and each room is jumbled due to lack of garden plan. Current birds that visit include blue jays, crows, occasional hummingbirds, pigeons, and finches. Birds mostly focus attention along the grass areas and spruce trees and primarily forage for food or nesting material, rest, and preen.
    • alex
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      An Almost Private Moment: This spring brings the third nesting of either House Swallows or Sparrows to an air vent in my 1920's upstairs apartment. As the chics have progressed they've become cheerfully and adamantly present through the wall with their cheeps for more food from the parent team. The parents do access the feeder, but I don't have yummy invertebrates to offer of course. It's a morning game to note who's up first the chics or myself. If I'm up first I do try to not wake them up.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Do you have a deck or balcony?  Some people do wonders with container gardening of native plants.  Also, many conservation groups need volunteers and stewards of natural areas, as at this point, the invasive species problem is so big that natural areas don't stat that way without help!
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I live in the Hampton roads area of Virginia. I'm currently going through the process of reorganizing my yard. Well organizing one of the goals is to remove as many invasive species as possible. And replace them with better plants. I'm going to the rule of it has to do more than just be pretty. The plants for replace in the yard get points for what they can do in the yard. Such as does it make a good screen/hedge. Does it make good nesting habitat. Is it a host plant for a butterfly or moth. What type of food does it provide for birds. And on and so forth. I know I will not complete it in a year. But I want to say is a nice long-term goal. In addition besides plants I do plan to include structures for birds and wildlife.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        It is a wonderful hobby, and not something that is done in a year.  My great grandmother said "it takes 5 years to build a garden."  With a native garden, give yourself 10, lol.
    • Marguerite
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live north of Nashville and this spring we designated an area approximately 60'X90' on the downward slope of our property, as a "meadow"........I left whatever was going to grow, grow, without interference or cutting back and planted wildflower seeds, native wildflower bulbs inside the designated "meadow" area.  I have also planted butterfly bushes in the grassy area and near the area, we planted mulberry and redbud bare root trees.  Also nearby we planted white oak bare root trees.  All the trees and shrubs are growing!  I still do not have any wildflowers blooming!  My husband mowed a swirling path through the middle of what I hope will be the "wildflower meadow" (in a year or 2 or 3??) and I plan to place a small bench there to watch the birds and other pollinators.  I have placed a birdbath with solar sprinkler there, near where there is also a small bird feeder.  I seem to have lots of birds around my house all the time, even during the winter.  There were days in the early spring when the bird calling and bird songs were very, very loud - it seemed they had to compete with the noise of the neighborhood and raised their voices accordingly to be heard over the cars and lawn mowers!  We moved to this area a little over a year ago from a ranch located in the-middle-of-nowhere, New Mexico.  I can hardly believe how many birds are here in the Nashville area............I LOVE it here
      • Kathy
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        It sounds lovely!  Nice to have lots of birds to begin with.  Good luck with your meadow!
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Be sure to recognize plants that can take over.  Especially check the "butterfly bush"...if it is Buddleia, as it can create a LOT of backbreaking work for you when you realize they want to rule the world.  There are many native species that will also be host to eggs and larvae, which this plant is not.
    • Jenifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      I have a beautiful dogwood tree in my front yard that attracts migrating birds in the fall. But, it also attracts lots of starlings who eat more than their share. I have several pines that border my property that are beautiful. Feeder birds use them as a landing to go to and from my bird feeders. I put in a split rail fence on one corner of my property and it provides a beautiful border where I have put in some liatris and lobelias and also some creeping phlox. I would like to continue to develop that area with more plants. I also have a wisteria plant (not sure if native) that drapes across the top of the fence. I put in several small winterberry plants I am hoping will be larger and a larger serviceberry which is gorgeous. I would like to replace the border in the back of my yard that has burning bushes -enormous ones- that I unfortunately inherited from previous owners. They form a great barrier to not see neighbors in the back yard, so I would like to replace with natives that will grow large as well as some flowering fruit trees. Any recommendations - I live in Connecticut - would be great. I started by purchasing two elderberry bushes, but this task is overwhelming and expensive, so I am starting small.
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Evergreens on the burning bush replacement.  Is Arborvitae native there?  On fruit trees, high bush blueberry, crab apple, and hawthorne.
    • Clarisse
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I want less concrete, less grass, and more native plants to create a small ecosystem in my yard. I have seen how birds are immediately attracted to any new native I bring home. It is like love at first sight. And pollinators favor natives as well. IMG_20210117_082656_523
      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        LOL I know!  I try to grow natives from seed, and the wildlife are like, "oooh, CANDY!"  So we are building enclosures, which seems counter productive, but need the natives to be able to reproduce to restore habitat!
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      We recently moved in to our house in Southwestern NY (Orange County) this past August. Having never owned my own home before, my prior gardening experience is limited to container gardens on condo porches. This spring, I have created two new small garden beds and have tended to the large bed in the front of the house and the medium size beds that are next to our shed. I have, somewhat regretfully, supplemented the plants that were already there when we bought the house with other beautiful perennials that are not native.   We have plenty of space to do some nature-scapung, but the place I'd most like to start is an area where an above ground pool was taken down prior to us buying the house. It is about 12 feet in diameter, flat, and has a bed of solid sand. I hope to build this area up with fresh dirt, and plant plenty of flowers that are attractive to both birds and pollinators.
    • LAURA
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      We live in NY (not far from Cornell) on about 3 acres. Most of it was just lawn when we bought the house 3 years ago. So far we have installed a native plant garden, a number of fruit trees, evergreen trees, and shrubs, a sunflower patch along our fence, two raised beds for vegetables, another raised bed for flowering bulb plants, and most recently (this year) a pollinator garden. One benefit to native plants that I didn't even realize when I planted them is the overall hardiness of the plants. NY has long, cold, winters, and some of the non-native plants (even if planted in a zone they technically tolerate) have struggled. All of the native plants have thrived. It makes gardening easier and cheaper (not having to buy replacement plants frequently). I am enjoying our bird visitors more and more, and I'm hoping to get a few tips on making our property even more bird-friendly.
    • Lyell
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Version 2
      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        I wasn't sure how to include text about an image.  The image above is the goldenrod meadow I referred to in my earlier post.  The goldenrod is exuberant and seems to dominate other plants.  I am interested in adding a little more diversity to this area with plants that can hopefully coexist with the goldenrod.
      • Stacey
        Participant
        Chirps: 3

        @Lyell I'm just wondering, do birds use/eat the Goldenrod?

      • Summer
        Participant
        Chirps: 6

        @Stacey There are several birds that will eat the Goldenrod seeds (Goldfinch, Chickadees, some sparrows, et. al.). Goldenrod also attracts several insect species which makes them beneficial to insectivores.

      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8

        @Stacey @Stacey apologies for the late reply.  I do occasionally see birds eating the goldenrod seed, but I would say the most activity I see on a plant in our habitat is goldfinches eating Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose).  This plant is a volunteer to the garden.  It is tall (around 4 feet), and often there will be 2-3 birds per stalk.  I was happy that the goldenrod was volunteering because they are supposed to be great hosts for many caterpillar species which are important food for baby birds.  However I don't often see caterpillars on the goldenrod.  Maybe the birds are getting them before I see them!

      • Sue
        Participant
        Chirps: 6

        @Lyell Purple Astor? Adds a pop

      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8

        @Sue @Sue  Purple Aster with the goldenrod would be beautiful.  I had some Aster laevis (a beautiful purple color) in the meadow but it seemed very tasty to rabbits (I believe) and they are all gone now.

      • MarianWhit
        Participant
        Chirps: 16

        @Lyell Joe Pye, Tall White Aster, Pearly Everlastings, tall native grasses, wild roses, etc.  Think about early bloomers like raspberry, wild strawberry, and blue eyed grass in the spring.  A backdrop of one or both bays (Myrica sp.).

      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8

        @MarianWhit Thank you @MarianWhit,  I do have some Joe Pie weed.  I do have to make sure I edit the goldenrod around them so they don't get overwhelmed by it.  The small patch is doing well this year.  I like the idea of a backdrop.  I have one blueberry in the back (out of the picture) that is doing well.  Also a Beach Plumb (Prunus maritima) on the right in the photo.  I have recently learned that Canada Goldenrod can be particularly vigorous and that thinning that species may help other plants thrive.  I will put all of your suggestions on a list to add!

    • Lyell
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      We are located west of Boston, Massachusetts.  Over the years, I have added more and more native plants.  In the back yard, we removed an in-ground pool.  Despite ideas to plan a garden, nature took its course, and the area is now mostly filled with 5 species of volunteer goldenrod plants and a few asters.  I have added a few shrubs along the way.  Grape and Blackberry bushes have also volunteered.  This area is filled with many species of dragonflies, wasps and other insects in the summer and fall.  I have also gotten rid of most of the grass in the front yard after observing that I was sadly killing moths and caterpillars as I mowed.  One thing I am interested in exploring is adding some more diversity to the goldenrod area.  The goldenrod seems to be very robust and will take over everywhere if I do not edit them a bit around other plants like Monarda and Joe Pye Weed.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I have a small area on the side of the house which the deck and the bedroom windows overlook.  The sounds of the birds create a natural alarm to wake up.  I have several feeders and a raised vegetable bed already on that side, I want to create a space for birds and pollinators using native plants.  Living on a east coast bay, I would like to provide for more migrants and take the opportunity to expand my neighborhood's use of native landscaping.  I am looking forward to sitting on my deck listening and watching.
    • Maura
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Our yard is a bit of a mess right now trying to establish wildflowers and a natural feel. My wife has objected to mowing in the past not wanting to disturb any wildflowers from getting established. We use about 400=500 sqauare feet for vegetable gardening. Our front yard we use as a birding garden with several bird feeders and a small bird bath. Although a nice ground cover has been established it  also could use a good weeding. My energy is a little dissapated by the aging process and I'm spending several hours a day establishing the vegetable garden. We have some hummingbird feeders but havent attracted many this year. My vision for the birding garden is to add a few nectar bearing flowers perhaps in containers to further attract hummers.
      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        Depending on where you are, I can recommend Lobelia cardinals (Cardinal Flower) for hummingbirds.  I live in Massachusetts, and these flowers have attracted hummingbirds every year.  They like a moist sunny spot and in a good year can have foot long flower spikes filled with tube like red flowers for humming birds.
      • Lonicera sempervirens work well also for hummingbirds. I have them and Cardinal flowers and wild bergamot (monarda). I live in NJ and the hummers use all three and saucer type feeders.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      I have a raised bed garden that is a mix of vegetables and flowers and a greenhouse.  We have a lot of bird activity at our backyard feeders and have had success with our solitary bee hotel.  I want to replace our grass front yard with a perrenial garden of native plants to attract more birds and butterflies.
      • Lyell
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        I am in the process of replacing our front yard grass.  I have replaced at least 80 percent of the front yard so far.  To keep the soil life and structure intact, I used a technique called sheet mulching.  In the fall I laid down cardboard (from large boxes) on the grass and spread about 4-5 inches of much on top of it.  It has worked very well.  An occasional blade of grass will pop up through a crack but is easy to remove.  I am still trying to formulate  a plan for planting, but the native plants I already had in several islands are helping out by advancing into the mulched area:  Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania Sedge), Whorled Loosestrife (NOT the invasive plant), Anemone canadensis and blue-stemmed goldenrod (Solidago caesia)
    • My family and I enjoy our backyard immensely.  Our newly replaced deck was designed with our fruit trees and bird feeders in mind, and we now have year round views of the many birds that visit us and live in our yard.  My husband loves the lawn, but has been tolerant of my aversion to chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and to my encroachment with vegetable and native plant gardens.  Our yard abuts a wild area that separates our yard from a golf course, full of wild life, and not far from a small river.  Last year’s overwhelming gypsy moth caterpillar invasion was a challenge, but we are learning about the life cycle of these “new” neighbours and trying to learn how to protect our trees and our pollinators, as well as the birds that live with us.  Interestingly, my husband is frightened for our trees’ foliage;  and our 3.5 year old grand daughter was So Excited to share her swing set with nature that she ran to get me, and show me how the caterpillars were everywhere, even on the slide!  There is no accounting for a love of nature... I am really enjoying the Cornell Lab’s bird courses, and getting to know the birds in my yard better.  I look forward to learning more about attracting and supporting birds, butterflies, and other pollinators around us.