Seeds, feeds, and flowers. Here are ways to bring all the birds to your yard this year.
Curious about the birds and the bees? Well, let’s just start with the birds. Attracting birds to your yard every month of the year can be an incredibly rewarding endeavor. From woodpeckers to finches, here’s a guide for attracting all sorts of feathery visitors to your doorstep.
Attracting Birds 101
Stock up on all your birding supplies! Birds are likely to come to stay if you have some essential items on hand. Birdbaths Birdbaths are a place for your fine-feathered friends to clean up after a long day. You can find a birdbath that fits your outdoor aesthetic, and the birds will just be pleased to have fresh, clean water to bathe in and drink. Heaters are available to keep water from freezing in the winter.
Bird Buffet Different foods attract different birds. If there’s a specific bird you’re hoping to attract, do some research on what their favorite grub is and set it out in a feeder or in a space that the species prefers. Some birds are picky! If you’re just hoping to see more birds in your yard, you can set out a variety of bird food and see who shows up. Make sure you keep the feeder full in order to be a reliable resource. The birds will keep coming back for more, and they’ll tell their friends!
What plants attract birds?
If you’re curious about what flowers to plant to attract birds, start by finding out what species are native to your area. For Iowa, you may want to consider some of the following flowers:
- Butterfly Milkweed
- Black-eyed Susan
- Blazing Star
What birds can you attract in Iowa?
There are many varieties of birds that may appear in your Iowa backyard, here are a few of our favorites: Bluebirds These blue beauties are easy to spot –– but their favorite food isn’t as cute. Setting out dishes of mealworms will be irresistible to the humble bluebird. If you can’t stomach bugs, you could try bark butter or other seed blends. These guys are bullies though, and they don’t like to share. So be prepared for them to rule the roost! Woodpeckers Tap tap tap. You may hear a woodpecker long before you see it. They use their beaks to chisel out holes in the trees to search for bugs or to create a nook to cozy up in for the winter. Lure them closer by hanging suet feeders. They also love millet, sunflower seeds, and chunky peanut butter. Hummingbirds The sweetest little creatures in the bird kingdom, these tiny, delicate birds love sugar. They need special feeders for their thin, pointy beaks. Plant lots of blooming florals and try to schedule different bloom periods across the species. Constant access to these flowers will keep Hummingbirds visiting again and again. Purple Martins After they’ve returned from a warm winter in South America, Purple Martins head north around March and April on the hunt for warm weather and plenty of bugs. These birds love being the star of the show with their beautiful songs and their playful flight patterns. They are classy birds who are drawn to “condo” style bird homes high up in the air. They also need to have open water nearby as they aren’t a fan of birdbaths. If you are lucky enough to attract these beauties, your yard will certainly be pest-free.
Things to Watch Out For When Attracting and Feeding Birds
Hazards Humans are one of the biggest hazards for beautiful songbirds. Our squeaky clean windows stop birds dead in their tracks. Some recover, some do not. You can prevent this by finding anti-collision stickers for your window, and place feeders a good distance away from your home. Predators Cats and predatory birds are a threat to your birds. While you may just be able to hang feeders out of swiping reach and shoo the cat away, you may need to get more creative for other predatory birds. Try adding mesh wire around the feeders to give the birds a bit of protection while they eat. You can also try planting some greenery or foliage for the birds to escape into. Nuisances Squirrels are cute but they are also jerks! They love stealing food that you intended for the birds. Add some spicy pepper to the food to keep them away. You can use Fire Mix Powder to mix in some Cole's Brand Flaming Hot Sauce. Birds can’t taste spice at all so it won’t bother them. Raccoons may also try to steal your food. Try finding feeders with small openings and be mindful of garbage and food scraps that may bring the trash bandits around! Here at Wallace’s, we love everything bird-related! We want to help you fly high this year and fill your life with song. If you want to learn more about flowers that attract birds in Bettendorf, please come visit us!