Many people start watching birds
at feeders in their back yards. Besides feeders, gardens may be
designed and planted so that birds feel more comfortable. This can
attract more birds to your yard by providing food, water, cover
and places to rear young.
In addition to increasing your enjoyment
of birds in your garden, wildlife gardens serve a larger purpose.
Human development modifies and fragments the landscape. These areas
reduce resources for birds and usually favor competitors and predators.
These impacts can be modified by thoughtful planning and zoning
at the city and county levels and by better landscaping at the home,
school and neighborhood levels.
A great deal is known about these
problems and we need to think about applying solutions to help birds.
Think about an environment that a birds and wildlife enjoy and you
will probably find it enjoyable, too. The plants in this photo are
all either Oregon natives or wildlife and insect friendly. Ground
feeding birds have mulch or litter to scratch in for seeds, grubs
and insects. Others, such as hummingbirds, warblers, vireos and
tanagers find nectar, fruit and insects among the various perennials,
shrubs and trees. Hedges in the background and elsewhere in the
garden provide cover and potential roosting and nesting sites. Simple
drippers and baths are nearby to provide water.
The Audubon Society encourages the
application of these principles through Audubon
At Home. At this site, you will find basic information about
wildlife gardens, links and resources for additional information
and action plans to help you get started.
Similar programs are sponsored by
the National Wildlife
Federation and 4-H,
and the Oregon State University Extension Service, which has several
related publications about creating hummingbird
selection for sustainable landscapes, design
selection for water conserving landscapes and a guide for developing
hedgerows, mainly for larger acreages.
Several local businesses and organizations
have products and information to help you start gardening for birds.
Hansen Nursery, Salem
County Soil and Water Conservation District Plant Sale
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