One of my favorite things about the warm weather is seeing the lovely birds that visit my garden.
In my neck of the woods, we see a lot of chickadees and finches, but also some colorful blue jays and cardinals.
While it's always nice to see a new bird in my yard, it takes a little know-how to draw them in.
Birds are surprisingly picky, and you need to do a bit of work to make your property bird-friendly.
But once you get the hang of these four important tips, you'll be making feathered friends in no time.
1. Be Smart About Feeders
Odds are you already own a bird feeder - or two. But it takes a little bit of planning to use a feeder effectively.
Just like people, every kind of bird has a favorite food. Hummingbirds prefer nectar, while others like seeds, suet, or nuts.
Even the type of seed hanger you use makes a difference: some birds prefer platforms, while others like the hanging cage style.
To get a variety of birds to stop in your yard, it pays to hang a couple of feeders with a different type of food in each one.
Building special "bug hotels" to let birds feed themselves will also attract more attention.
2. Make Their Birdhouse A Home
Birds naturally seek out shelter in nature, and if you don't offer any in your yard they will be wary of visiting it.
Hang a clean, sturdy birdhouse or box somewhere out of the elements, with a view of your feeders, and birds will fly back and forth between them.
If you provide a large nesting box, and the materials to keep it warm, some birds may even stay on your property.
3. Keep The Water Flowing
One of the biggest mistakes beginner birders make is leaving a basic, stone birdbath sitting in their yard.
Water will attract birds for a number of reasons. They drink it, bathe themselves, and cool off during the day.
But birds find water by following the sound of running water.
Other water fixtures, like a sprinkler or mister, will also attract birds.
To accommodate large groups, try and use more than one source of water, just like you use more than one feeder.
4. Spice Up Your Plant Life
To make your yard bird-friendly, start planning some renovations.
Wild birds appreciate a mix of plant life that reminds them of their wild homes.
A yard with a mix of native trees, shrubs and brush for birds to hide in, tall and short grass, and flowers will attract more birds than a plain, green lawn.
Plants that make food for the birds, like trees for berries, fruits, and nuts, will let them feed themselves.
What type of birds visit your home?