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Old 12-14-2018, 07:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Salem, Oregon & Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
finch Attracting backyard birds

Does anyone know the extent of the range used by backyard birds to find food, shelter and water? We are just starting a new garden which will focus on native and wildlife-friendly plants. However, currently there are almost no birds in the neighborhood (and few gardens.) If we build it, will they come?
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:06 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania

I definitely think "if you build it, they will come" is true.

I don't know the range of birds in search of food,but I know that there are year round residents, summer/breeding residents, and birds that travel through during migration...and I think some from more northern climes may settle here during the winter.

We have two acres in the country...(especially when we first moved here) there is a lot of open space (as well as areas for a small woodland); the first year here, I saw bluebirds in the winter. Early that spring, I put up nest boxes; I have had a nesting pair of bluebirds every year since.

Also, I think (but I am not sure) that the same birds tend to come back each year. I have a resident catbird in the summer. Each year as my natives mature and I add more, I seem to get more varieties of birds and more of each variety.
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:09 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Salem, Oregon & Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
Default Neighboring birds

That's very encouraging. I just wonder if they might come to our feeders and flowers from the next neighborhood.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:22 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania

Somehow when I planted my Aquilegia canadensis, birds surrounded it. It was the first time I ever seen White-Throated Sparrows. They're pleasant little fellows. The plant wasn't in bloom, so I think they were attracted to the bugs on it. Pairs of Northern Cardinals also visit it from time to time. There's this flock of Goldfinches visits my Echinacea purpurea annually. Right next to it is a garden sheperd's hook, where the male goldfinch perches, with a windchime. They also like the Rudbeckias. I don't know what birds think of windchimes, but I'm sure a properly constructed bird bath that can supply water in winter and in drought would attract them. Some birds like the Goldfinch like high places to perch near food, too. As for shelter, I don't have experience. It might be worth trying a roosting box or a nesting box.

Here's a link to the National Audubon Society's garden stuffs:
Originally Posted by The National Audubon Society
"Bring birds to your home today by growing native plants. With Audubon's Native Plant Database, you can find the best plants for the birds in your area. Growing bird-friendly plants will attract and protect the birds you love while making your space beautiful, easy to care for, and better for the environment. Explore all of our native plant resources here."
You don't need to put your email to use their plant index.
It may be useful to check a few bird watching websites. I think bringing a non-decorative bird bath or water source would bring good results. Lots of birds love to eat bugs, so there's got to be many bugs for them, too.
Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:28 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan

You know what works best as far as to what I've discovered is...If you plant a few trees and bushes nearby they tend to migrate on in. They seem to want or need the cover protection wise first against the elements and...the darn roaming cats you may have in a neighborhood. A water bath or a pond it also a GREAT addition. They'll come regularly for drinks and....bathing! Make sure if you add a pond there's a few floating logs should they fall in so they can climb on up and out otherwise you might find a few floaters.
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

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Old 12-22-2018, 03:45 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Michigan

If you build it, they WILL come. At least, it has worked that way for me. Our home is in a city neighborhood. I am surrounded by Lawn Farmers (Chemlawns) on all sides. My yard, planted with trees, shrubs and perennials (mostly natives) attracts all kinds of birds. It may take awhile, but they will come. The biggest draws in my yard seem to be the mixed hedge along the property line and the water features. I have a small bird bath/pond that is dug into the ground (it's not much larger than a typical bird bath). I keep a mister going back there in the summer. I also have a pond with a pump to recirculate the water. That one is filled with rocks/stones to keep it shallow enough for birds. In the front yard, I have a regular bird bath, on a pedestal, with a dripper going. The sound of moving water is like a bird magnate in the warmer weather. I only fill my feeders in the winter. There is enough natural food during the rest of the year.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:49 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Livonia, MI

As others have said "Build it and they will come". I haven't read anything on the size of the ranges of our backyard birds. But I do feel whatever you build or grow, birds will find. And the activity of these first visitors will attract other birds. And these birds will then add your location to their regular rounds of their territory.
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attracting, backyard, birds

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