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A Garden for the Birds
One of the most rewarding parts of gardening is the frequent visitors combined with compliments. Visitors can be people like ourselves. The most appreciative visitors, however, are the "winged" kind.....Birds.
These feathered creatures add dimension to every part of your garden. There songs create a lovely atmosphere, and showy colors rival even your most elaborate blooms in beauty. Birds do not flock to just any garden, however, so you'll need to know what kinds of factors birds look for in a habitat.
The relationship between the birds and your garden is a a symbiotic one. The birds give your garden a beautiful atmosphere, while the garden provides food, water, and shelter for the birds. Your garden may very well become a regular resting spot for many different species of birds if you take their needs into consideration in the creation of your garden.
There are 3 major elements which need to be achieved in order to draw in different species of birds. Food, shelter, and water are the three life giving elements which your garden needs to provide. The first of these necessities is food.
Food is one of the most obvious factors to include in your garden, and is the most important attraction for birds. First determine what food sources your garden does have, and what kinds you are lacking. Sources of food such as fruits, berries, shrubs, and vines are good basics to include. Plants within these categories include Dogwoods, Virginia creeper, Crabapples, Viburnums or any other fruit and berry bearing plants. Even the flower heads of perennial and annual flowers will attract numerous bird species to your garden. Don't forget seeds from purple coneflowers and sunflowers.
Now that you have an attractive food source, you can begin to determine what you'll do for a suitable shelter for your birds. Trees and shrubs with dense green foliage or thickets of shrubs will provide excellent sheltering and a protective place for the birds to avoid extreme weather conditions. These areas also give birds a hiding place from predators and a safe nesting space. Be creative and use your imagination to design a beautiful safe haven for your bird friends. Even the most secluded and remote places of your garden can be used for growing tress, shrubs, and vines to create an excellent living environment for the birds. Fences are a great structure on which to grow vines for your birds. Keep moderation in your ideas, as well, however. Overgrowing your garden's greenery can lead to an unattractive forest that birds might love, but you won't enjoy it.
Water is a crucial element in any bird garden, and is easy to provide. A small fountain, waterfall, or simple birdbath can give an attractive answer for your birds' hydration requirements. Birds will use this water supply to drink from and bathe in, so make sure to keep the supply fresh and clean.
A bird friendly garden is easy to achieve if you use these steps and keep in mind what a bird would enjoy in your garden. You can attract many species of birds, and eventually gather an entire community around your popular garden.