Nature

5 Useful Tips to Create a Birder’s Paradise

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Nuthatches, cedar waxwings and bluebirds enjoy fruit. Consider soaking dried currants or raisins in water and setting them in a shallow dish or platform feeder.

Suet blocks made from animal fat provide excellent protein attracting blue jays, warblers and woodpeckers. Suet turns rancid in warm temperatures so use it only in winter.

5 Useful Tips to Create a Birder's Paradise

Photo: Ruby-throated hummingbird. Courtesy of Flickr/katefries

If hummingbirds dive-bombing like little kamikaze pilots amuse you, then hang glass or plastic feeders filled with sugar water to attract them.

Make your own food by adding one-part sugar to four parts water, bringing it to a boil, then letting cool before filling your feeder. Avoid red food coloring or dye as it  can be harmful to the birds. Make sure to change out the sugar water weekly. These tiny dare devils fiercely defend their territory so place feeders a good distance apart to avoid squabbles.

Fresh water attracts birds too. The saucer from a clay pot makes a great inexpensive water bowl. Simply plug the hole in the bottom, fill with water and hang it from a chain in a tree. Purchase a commercial bird bath. Or if you are hankering for a DIY project, search fountain ideas on-line or on Pinterest. Birds will hear the bubbling, gurgling water and flock to your door.

3. Landscape matters.

5 Useful Tips to Create a Birder's Paradise

Photo: Flickr/debbie

Once established, native landscaping may be the easiest and most aesthetically pleasing way to bring birds into your yard. Texas Parks and Wildlife provides a guide of native plants birds enjoy.

Remember to plant a variety. Flowers attract birds and insects and bugs and seeds provide food. Shrubs with berries provide food and protection from predators. Trees welcome birds to build nests and give them a place to flee. Many birds also use brush piles for safety and nesting.

4. Build a safe environment.

5 Useful Tips to Create a Birder's Paradise
Photo: Flickr/mrtindc