Attracting birds to your yard during winter is usually a simple matter of providing food. However, attracting a variety of birds to frequent your yard in summer can be a bit more of a trick. Here are some simple tips for getting your feathered friends to stick around.
The basics are simple: provide shelter, safety, food and water.
As for shelter, it only makes sense that birds are going to prefer native trees and shrubs for shelter and the greater diversity of native plants in your yard will attract a greater variety of birds to your yard. If you are looking to attract a specific kind of bird do your research on the plant-shelter they prefer.
Domestic cats probably pose the most harm to birds in Ohio as far as predatory species. If you have an outdoor cat, consider putting a bell on their collar or building them a catio. In the case of free roaming or feral cats in your yard the best route is building fencing to keep them out. If ferals are trapped, neutered and taken to a shelter new ferals are likely to move into the area though this is an option.
Additionally, you’ll want to reduce the instance of mosquitos if you can. It is recommended you use pesticide to do this rather just remove standing water. Mosquitos do carry diseases that affect birds.
For food, planting native trees and shrubs that bear flowers or provide food for insects the birds will eat are a great option or native plants that provide seeds or fruit. During certain times of year birds, like migration, birds are going to prefer native foods over anything else.
Providing a water source is the easiest chore. Ideally a water source should be elevated, placed in an open area where they won’t be surprised by predators, and filled with about an inch of water are perfect. The water source should be changed and rinsed regularly to reduce mosquitos.
You should realize that by creating an ideal habitat for birds also creates an ideal habitat for predator species like snakes and some hawks as well. By inviting birds you may be extending an invitation to other critters as well.