Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Attacting Birds to Your Garden

Ruby Throated Hummingbird
May 10, 2007

Look at my new garden visitor! Isn't he just adorable? This picture was a real fluke as the feeder is hanging on the back porch so I can see any activity from the kitchen window. Well there he was flitting around so I had to grab the camera and take several shots. I should have taken a video clip as well but I was so excited, I didn't think about it. Hummingbirds are attracted to trumpet shaped flowers like trumpet vine and petunias. Not only will they feed on the nectar they will eat insects so these are birds you want in the garden.

I've talked before about attracting beneficial wildlife into the garden while discouraging damaging wildlife. Most birds are beneficial in the garden but even beneficial birds like robins can present a problem if you do not provide them with the essentials. Birds need: shelter, food and water. Provide all three so you do not inadvertently create a problem. Water is very important so provide a couple of sources including a shallow, on the ground water source for bats, another beneficial garden visitor. Control the birds you are trying to attract by what you plant and what you offer for food. If grackles or cowbirds are a problem and they can be, change your feed to something without corn. Safflower seed will attract the cardinals but grackles and cowbirds do not care for it so they will move on. If rodents are a problem, put up more feeders but away from your house. More feeders attract more birds which in turn will attract the predators like the Sharp Shinned hawk. They will keep your rodent population in check naturally. Finches like Niger seed and don't overlook a suet block for the nuthachers. Be sure to pay attention to where the birds like to feed. Some birds prefer feeding at ground level so account for that but quite often there is enough overflow from the feeders to attract ground feeders. Shelter can be provided in the form of birdhouses or natural. If depending on natural shelter place your feeders near the shelter. This gives the birds a place to hide if a predator appears and it gives them a place to nest.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome

1 comment:

  1. Wow. What a wondeful photograph! We don't have Hummingbirds in the UK. Or feeders that look like that.

    We also don't have Grackles or Cowbirds.

    What a lovely blog this is.


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