From the Birding Wire

Now that the summer growing season is on the wane, it's a great time to take a second look at your yard with birds in mind. Take it all in, and at the same time, remember your spring-flowering trees and the birds they attracted, and think about the flowers that attracted the most hummingbirds. Remember the tall grasses and flowering plants that provided winter and early-spring forage and cover for birds, and consider how you can improve and expand on your successes.

How has your yard measured up to your spring expectations for the summer months? Actually, the days of summer also provide a chance to make improvements for the weeks and months ahead while evaluating how bird-friendly your yard is today.

Even if you are happy with the looks of your yard, your surroundings, little improvements can make it more attractive to birds -- now and during seasons to follow. For example, if you’re in a gardening mood, it’s easy to add a few nectar-producing flowering plants or seed-producing sunflowers. Consider making a new mini-flower garden in the shape of a circle or an oval on the edge of other landscaping or even in the midst of an open lawn space. Maybe you will be enticed to repeat the process another time to make two or more new stands of flowering plants.

You can also replace plants that didn’t work out as you hoped, or that are out of season now. It’s also easy to permit lawn on the edge of bushes or adjacent to a tree to grow to full size and seed -- the taller grass will provide more cover, and grass seeds for birds too.

Another simple way to add bird-friendly value to your yard is to add a large decorative flowerpot or a trio of pots that you can display together. Or consider adding a spot of color with a glazed pot, a terracotta pot, or a painted pot with a Latin flare to fill with favored flowers or even a hummingbird vine.

It’s also a good time to reassess the look of your feeding station. Maybe add some color and decoration by surrounding it with a few flowerpots or natural elements, such as large rocks, driftwood, or other creative touches.


Photo: Rudbeckia hirta, also known as Black-eyed Susan. Photo by Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.