recap: how to make a garden for the birds

THEY’RE LEAVING (OR COMING BACK) in increasing numbers these days. The birds, I mean. Some species that don’t bother with me in summer but hope I’ll put out the feeder come fall are already nosing around; some (like the ruby-throated hummingbirds) are already en route south. Arrivederci, baby! Early fall, with prime planting time still ahead, is a good moment to think about making a bird-friendly garden–or for fine-tuning the one you’ve already begun. Let’s recap of the plants and the best practices for making a garden for the birds, and don’t forget to reduce glare on key windows to prevent window strikes. (Thanks to doodler Andre Jordan for the rendering of the Black-Capped Fatso Birds, a rare local species.)

  1. Connie says:

    Re fall — yellow-shafted flickers are now showing up on my lawn (PA) seeking grubs, etc. in the soil. There were three flickers this morning and, if last fall is any indication, their number should increase to seven or eight in the next weeks. I try to remember to look before opening the door, but sometimes I forget and all I see are several white fluffs (tail) with wings flying away!

  2. Alan says:

    Yes, getting lots of fall birds moving through! Going to miss the hummingbirds. The juveniles are still hitting the feeder and flowers pretty hard here in SE Virginia, but it wont be long. I still leave the feeders out so the ones travelling through from the north can stop and fuel-up. I just did a recent post on this,,,
    Have a great weekend!

  3. kk says:

    Scotts Miracle-Grow pleaded guilty to adding a toxic insecticide to its wild bird food products, falsifying pesticide registrations, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels and distributing unregistered pesticides. The most egregious violation was adding pesticides known to be toxic to birds and other wildlife to its bird food products. Time to boycott this company – if you aren’t already doing so.

  4. Colleen says:

    Commenting on the Scott’s bird seed. I do not by that brand and never would. How horrible and shame on that greedy billion dollar Co. Purposely killing innocent Gods creatures. Unreal.

  5. Rae says:

    I was very upset to find out that Scott’s added pesticides to their bird food. I just bought it for the first time this year. I’ll have to dump it. It’s not worth hurting these creatures who need sustenance during the winter months especially.

  6. Jason says:

    Thanks for the post. Have you found Cornus kousa to be good for attracting birds? I like using Gray Dogwood – Cornus racemosa. Probably all dogwoods are a good choice.

    And why in God’s name would Scott’s want to put pesticide in wild bird food?

    1. margaret says:

      Yes, Jason, but the chipmunks like it even better! (And I confess I eat a lot of the fruits myself.) Gray dogwood is fantastic, as is Cornus sericea (red osier).

  7. Rosemary says:

    Two lorikeets have returned from last year and a blue wren and his family…they have been nesting in my neighbours tree which conveniently for me sits over my fence…I will have to put out a seed ball for them..now that all the winter rain has gone and spring is here my irises and tulips are flowering in sunny Mornington Victoria Australia..

    1. margaret says:

      Lucky you, Rosemary. Beautiful! We are heading into fall, when the birds really appreciate the feeders here. Thanks for saying hello.

  8. Jillian James says:

    Not shocked about the sins of Scotts. Corporate greed strikes again. I wouldn’t buy their products either – lost faith in big corporations. Can we say Monsanto? But now I have more ammunition when assaulted by those who think corporations should be able to self regulate. That will be a cold day in a hot place.

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