One of the joys of my backyard garden is the many chirps, tweets and songs from the variety of birds that share the space. Did you know that not all birds are able to sing? Only those whose vocal organ formed in a way to be able to produce a diverse and elaborate song can deliver a tune. Birds sing to let the world know they are there - they are the original tweeters! This helps to attract mates and mark their territory. Although sometimes I can't help but think they are singing simply for the delight in it.
Worldwide there are over 5000 species of songbirds. According to Birds and Blooms, the top songbirds in America are:
Unfortunately, here in North America their numbers are on the decline, mainly due to loss of habitat. Luckily, there are simple ways to attract songbirds to your yard or garden by supplying food, shelter and a water source.
Providing the right kind of food is important. Use a bird seed formulated for songbirds and plant trees and/or shrubs that have small berries. Not only do these plantings bear fruit, but they also attract insects which the birds will eat.
Additionally, having a variety of plants at different heights is recommended since some birds prefer perching in an upper canopy, while others like a middle height and some even prefer lower branches for perching and protection.
If you can, some experts encourage having an area of your garden that is devoted to "ungardening" or rewilding. If you are interested in learning more about this trend in gardening I've linked an article from The Guardian.
Finally, the water source does not have to be an ornate flowing water feature, it can be a bird bath or even a garbage can lid flipped over and filled with water. Whichever option you choose, it is important to keep your bird bath fresh. According to Audubon.org you will want to rinse and scrub it with a solution of nine parts water to one part vinegar and refill the water every other day.
Now that you have the basics down, the following is a list of some plantings that are recommended for attracting songbirds. This is by no means an exhaustive list but just some ideas to get you started.
*Sunflower *Coneflowers *Cornflower *Black Eyed Susan *Daisy *Aster *Marigold *Flowering Vines *Viburnum *Chokeberry *Staghorn Sumac *Inkberry & Winterberry *Elderberry *Juniper *Dogwood *Flowering Crabapple
Make sure and check that you are zone compatible with whatever planting you choose to incorporate into your garden. With some planning, you can create a space where these lovely little birds can thrive and at the same time fill your day with song!
If you like the photos I have attached you can download these and more at Pictureboxblue.com