I’ve written about how to build a cozy back yard that’s a fun place to spend your time, and that’s great – for you. Of course, once you step outside the house, you’re now in a world that you have to share with other wildlife. That’s not a bad thing, provided that you’re not living in a place where you’re likely to encounter mountain lions or wolves.
I’m talking about attractive insects, such as butterflies, and friendly birds, including hummingbirds. These are fun, attractive creatures that, by their very presence, can make your yard more attractive. What you need to do is take a few steps to ensure that your yard is attractive to them so they’ll come around and help decorate the place.
Birds need a few things to be comfortable, just as we do. They need food, they need water, and they need a place to rest and to hide from predators. That means that some trees with foliage will be helpful. We’re not talking about palm trees here, but trees with branches and leaves where birds can nest.
You’ll also want to provide a place for birds to drink and to bathe. You can go with a birdbath, though a lot of birds prefer water that moves a bit. A small fountain can do the job, too, and that adds beauty that you can appreciate while still providing a place for birds and insects to drink and bathe. You’ll have to clean it from time to time, but you’re likely doing that, anyway.
You’ll also need a birdfeeder, and actually, you’ll likely need more than one. Many birds eat seed, so a bird feeder that can accommodate those birds will be beneficial. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, don’t really eat seeds, but instead eat small insects and nectar from flowers. They also like sugar water, so having a hummingbird feeder will attract those birds and keep them around.
For the other part of the equation, keeping both hummingbirds and butterflies happy, you’ll want to have some flowering plants in your yard. Butterflies seem to prefer “flat” flowers, such as the daisy or similar, and hummingbirds like nectar-rich tubular flowers. You can ask your local nursery for some recommendations.
Keep in mind that a variety of flowering plants are not only good for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds but also will make your yard more attractive and inviting for humans. In the end, you’re creating your lovely back yard for you and your family, so if you make it attractive for you, chances are the birds and insects will come along.
Bird feeders, birdbaths and fountains do require a bit of maintenance. You’d be surprised at how much seed birds can consume, so be sure to buy it in quantity. Most garden stores will sell it in 25 pound bags, and it’s much more affordable to buy it in quantity. Be sure to keep your fountain and birdbath clean, as birds aren’t interested in drinking or bathing in dirty water any more than you are.
With a bit of attention and a small investment, you can attract beautiful birds and insects to your yard to make it more inviting for you and your family.