I had never given feeding the birds much thought until I moved into my dream home.  I am surrounded by 20 acres of wooded property that is filled with an abundance of wildlife.  Now that I watch these beautiful birds fly around my property and perch in the trees outside my window I have started thinking about how to care for them.  Birds need four resources for survival; food, water, shelter and nesting sites.  With a properly planned landscape you can provide birds with a wonderful refuge.  Look around your yard and assess what you have, what you are lacking and make a plan.

You will want to make sure you have a variety of evergreens, fruit bearing trees, shrubs, ground covers and vines in your landscape.  Understanding what types of birds you are trying to attract will also help with your planting selections.   Each plant provides a different type of bounty, whether it is in the form of seeds, fruits, nuts, nectar or a host for insects.  Don’t forget when planning your landscape to include seasonal interests.  Winter is a difficult time for birds.  The days are short, nights are long and cold.  The harsh winter weather causes insects to be dormant making natural food selection sparse.  Birds rely on seeds and fruits for winter survival.  Having a diverse plant variety will help you attract a wide variety of birds all year long.

Having plants that provide shelter is a must.  Birds need a safe place to nest or rest for the night.  Choosing plants that provide food and shelter is a great recipe for making sure birds enjoy your yard.  Evergreen items such as pine trees, low growing juniper and red cedars provide great shelter along with berries and cones for food.  If you choose to purchase seed for your birds, make sure to place all feeding spots around sheltered spaces.  My bird feeder is by a lilac bush at the back of my house and the birds use it as a safe spot to check out the surroundings.  They fly back and forth as they enjoy the seed and suet.

I have compiled a list of bird friendly plants to consider when planning out your landscape or adding to your existing landscape.  Remember to choose a variety of plants so you have interest for the birds in all of the Michigan seasons.  Good luck and happy birdscaping!


Follow the link below for my list of plants that attract birds to the landscape:  Remember this is just my list of favorites it is not a complete list.

Plants that attract birds to the landscape